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Addison C. de Lisle




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PostPosted: Sun 16 Aug, 2015 4:57 am    Post subject: 17th Century Italian Brandestoc - Mechanism?         Reply with quote

Hello all,
I saw this piece posted on facebook a week or so ago (I can't remember or find where anymore unfortunately). Does anyone know if these (or other weapons with hidden spikes) are somehow spring-loaded, or if they slide and lock into place? I would especially like to see the mechanism.



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Jeffrey Hildebrandt
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PostPosted: Sun 16 Aug, 2015 7:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wikipedia suggests that that the blade merely locks into place once forced out, rather than being spring loaded. Under brandistock: "A sharp thrust of the weapon forward propelled the heads out, where they could be readily locked in place."

The description on the auction site were the weapon was offered gave a similar description:
"c. 1600 Rare Italian Brandestoc - Buttafuori
Rare example of Italy's past. Most likely coming from lombardia Italy. Officers carried these inside small buildings and carriages. They are about the size of a cane, but with one forceful move, the blade comes out of the shaft and it's used as a polearm. This example is decorated with a chiselled dragon head, the tail serving as a sword catcher"

I suspect the dragon was intended to hold slowmatch (rather than catch swords), so that it is actually a linstock with a retracting blade, rather than a true brandistock. The purpose of the retracting blade on a linstock would not be so much for convenient carriage in confined quarters, but to have a long blade available without having to menace the rest of the artillery crew with it every time the match was used to set off a charge.

You can find more photos of that weapon here.

Here is a similar example that sold through Christie's.

And an unfortunately poor photo of a true brandistock, with some of its internal mechanism dismantled. It looks like a push button would likely disengage a locking spring, and the rest is just to guide the side blades out to the proper angle and hold them there:


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