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May 19, '15

Throughout this present life I have found that I have a compulsion to make or buy material objects that once I used in past lives. It has been part of my self healing as we move forward into a new age.

Often this has caused friction at my seemly irrational must have behaviour.

This wheellock pistol is one such item. Purchased in Venice 1981at the height of my Landsknecht memory.

Note the belt hook below.

It was a wheellock! The first self igniting pistol using a cigarette lighter wheel principle. Very handy in a tight squeeze. This particular pistol was of a variety known as "cat killers" in Italian and formally banned in the first gun control legislation in Tudor England under Elizabeth I! Such a pistol had been used to assassinate William the Silent of Orange 1584.

The pistol was deadly at close range with a large calibre lead projectile and the capacity to be concealed. William's assassin left forensic evidence of the calibre and effectiveness of these weapons.

"Balthasar Gérard returned in July, having bought two wheel-lock pistols on his return journey. On 10 July, he made an appointment with William of Orange in his home in Delft, now known as the Prinsenhof. That day, William was having dinner with his guest Rombertus van Uylenburgh. After William left the dining room and walked down-stairs, Van Uylenburgh heard Gérard shoot William in the chest at close range. Gérard fled immediately."

This particular example was very reasonable 62,000 Lire if I remember correctly or about £50 sterling. It is an example of an original barrel and ignition system rehoused on a contemporary rustic stock. Very entrepreneurial and cost effective for in original condition it would be nearer £10,000 sterling.

Surprisingly it is in working condition! Plus it has the all important cartouches on the grip.

Although I was on English Civil War memory mode at the time it was affordable. It was only afterwards back in England that I noted the Landsknecht engravings of soldiers with halberds. This puts the barrel and lock at around 1520s a fact that my subconscious was obviously aware of!

Beautifully proportioned and accurate the costumes and stances of the soldiers are well executed.

The halberd is a very important symbol and tool that I carried. Very useful in a sticky situation!

I now realise the link with my Landsknecht memory and why I felt the irrational urge to purchase it despite all hazards.

We also stopped at Innsbruck Austria for four days on the way back. The home of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and the Golden Roof his personal viewing balcony complete with solid gold tiles.

As a German Landsknecht I had soldiered with Georg von Frundsberg on his behalf.

May 19, '15
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