Afin de vous proposer une expérience optimale, nous utilisons des cookies pour mémoriser vos choix en matière de fonctionnalités, ainsi que vos préférences sur notre site. En poursuivant la navigation, vous acceptez l'utilisation des cookies. Veuillez consulter nos politiques en matière de confidentialité et de cookies pour en savoir plus.

Skip to main content

More than a Game / A VERY RARE IMPERIAL PISTOL GUN-BARRELL Wanli/Tianqi (3)

LOT 14
A VERY RARE IMPERIAL PISTOL GUN-BARRELL
Wanli/Tianqi
29 mai 2022, 14 h 00 UTC+8
Hong Kong, Admiralty

600 000 HKD - 800 000 HKD

Vous possédez un article similaire ?

Soumettez votre article en ligne pour une estimation gratuite.

Comment vendre

Vous cherchez un article similaire ?

Nos spécialistes en céramique et œuvres d'art chinoises peuvent vous aider à trouver un article similaire dans une vente aux enchères ou dans une vente privée.

Trouver votre spécialiste local

A VERY RARE IMPERIAL PISTOL GUN-BARRELL

Wanli/Tianqi
The cast-iron barrel of slightly tapered rounded form, drilled from solid steel, the surface finely damascened in silver with stylised foliage between the front and rear sight, and inlaid with three Sanskrit characters reading Om Ah Hum above two lines of Chinese characters reading tidu junwu jianguan juchang dudu Cao, jianzao dusi Wang Zhichen between the rear sight and hammer, the reserve incised with a Chinese number two and a craftsman's name reading Pan Shanzai, the the lock plate of yellow metal, stands. 38cm (15in) long. (3).

Footnotes

明萬曆/天啟 王之臣監造御製䤹銀手銃鎗管

Inscriptions: (front) 'Provincial Commander Cao of Military and Civil affairs in Charge of the Department of Works' and 'Supervisor of the Manufacturing Department Wang Zhichen'
(back) 'two' and 'Pan Shanzai'

銘文: (正面)「提督軍務兼管局廠都督曹」「監造都司王之臣」
(背面)「弍」「潘善在」

Muskets were introduced to China in the Jiaqing period of the Ming dynasty, whereas the time when pistols were produced in China remains unknown. The present lot is different from the standard slender 'bird gun' or arquebus of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The thickness is moderate and length is more like a pistol or hand held gun. There is no comparable pistol published or recorded in a public or private collection, and it can perhaps be said to be the earliest Chinese pistol.

The three Sanskrit characters 'Om ah hum' on the body of the gun is the mantra of the Vajra Master of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, which represents the three secrets and three bodies of the Buddha. Porcelain from the Yongle and Xuande periods were often decorated with this mantra. During the Wanli reign of the late Ming period, the emperor abandoned the Daoism of his predecessor, the Jiajing emperor, and the Sanskrit mantra began to appear again on various objects.

The silver inscription reads 'Provincial Commander Cao of Military and Civil affairs in Charge of the Department of Works'. The Department of Works was a subdivision of the Bureau of Military Affairs, one of the Eight Bureau of the Ming Court run by eunuchs. In the Ming dynasty, it was not unusual for eunuchs to supervise military affairs as they could counter-balance the power of civil and military officials and report directly to the emperor. During the Zhengde reign, for example, there was the eunuch Zhang Zhong, supervisor of the Royal Stables, who participated in the quelling of Prince Ning's rebellion. Therefore, the Cao in the inscription probably refers to a eunuch in charge of the military staff bureau.

The Wang Zhichen mentioned in the inscription as 'Supervisor of the Manufacturing Department', was a native of Tongguan County, Shaanxi Province. He achieved his jinshi degree in the 23rd year of the Wanli reign (1595). In the second year of the Tianqi reign (1622), he served in the military department as Imperial inspector of Xuanfu. In the fifth year of Tianqi, he was promoted to the chief servant of the Ministry of War, and served as Governor of Jiliao. In the sixth year, he served as the Minister of the Ministry of War and the chief deputy censor. He was recalled back to the capital however, in the first year of the Chongzhen reign (1628) and implicated after the fall from grace of the powerful eunuch Wei Zhongxian (1568-1627), whereupon he was forced to retire from public service.

Guns such as muskets and the arquebus were introduced into China via two routes: the Portuguese from the sea in the south, and the Ottomans from the West overland. In respect of the overland route, the earliest guns can be traced back to the Zhengde period, when Turpan annexed Hami. The Ming dynasty rushed to help Hami but was repelled by firearms obtained by Turpan from Turkey. In the Ming dynasty, the Ottoman empire was referred to as Lumi (perhaps deriving from Rum). Zhao Shizhen (active 1552-1611) in his treatise Shen qi pu ('Record of Sacred Instruments') notes a 'Lumi gun', the illustration of which is similar to the present lot. See Zhao Shizhen, Ming qi pu, Wanli 23rd year (1598), Collection of the National Library of Taiwan, p.11.

The Ottoman empire did have direct contact with the Ming Court. During the Jiajing reign, it sent envoys to Beijing five times, guarded by these Lumi guns. In the 23nd year of the Jiajing reign (1544) the mission had an 'officer of guns and armour' called Tosuma (circa 1523-1606) who helped the Ming army and was awarded a rank in the Embroidered Guards. The production methods of these Lumi guns was passed onto Zhao Shizhen, whereupon he petitioned the Court to mass-produce these guns. In the first year of Tianqi (1621), the Ming army had a record of 2000 Lumi guns. See Xu Guangqi, Xu Guangqi ji, Shanghai, 1963, p.172.

The Portuguese also introduced guns via the sea into Southern China. In the 27th year of the Jiajing reign (1548), the Governor of Zhejiang Zhu Wan attacked Portuguese pirates entrenched near Ningbo, seizing Portuguese-made guns. The guns served as a prototype and were quickly copied and mass-produced to equip the Zhejiang army. See Pan Jixing, The History of Gunpowder in China, Shanghai, 2016, pp.547-562. According to Zhao Shizhen's records, the firepower and range of the Turkish guns was better than Portuguese guns; the Turkish guns being copied in Beijing, whilst the Portuguese guns were being copied in the South. In addition to this, Wang Zhichen always largely remained in the North, and did not venture South on official business, so it is likely that the present lot belongs to the same category of Lumi guns.

Muskets were mainly equipped in the army during the Ming dynasty, it is possible that within the army, shooting had developed as a game or competition. Although there are limited records of the hunting activities in Ming court, emperors in Qing dynasty left a number of illustrations of the imperial hunting scenes where the emperor shooting with a 'bird gun'. See a painting depicting Qianlong Emperor shooting a deer in a hunting, Qianlong, Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum: Armaments and Military Provisions, Shanghai, 2008, p.205.

槍管為實心熟鐵一體鑽孔而成,六面圓柱體,前斂後粗,槍嘴嵌黃銅準星,中段嵌正方體照門,照門內鎪孔槽一條,準星照門之間管面䤹銀纏枝花卉紋,照門至銃尾表面䤹銀飾梵文「嗡啊吽」三字,其上䤹銀蓮葉紋,其下䤹銀兩行字:「提督軍務兼管局廠都督曹」及「監造都司王之臣」,火門為黃銅質,管背陰刻「弍」及匠人名「潘善在」四字。

槍身所䤹梵文「嗡啊吽」三字,為藏傳密宗金剛總持即普賢王如來根本咒,代表佛的三密和三身,明代永宣兩朝瓷器常有裝飾此咒,及至晚明,萬曆皇帝擯棄嘉靖道教信仰,所作工藝品上又開始出現此三字。䤹銀銘文「提督軍務兼管局廠都督曹」中局廠為明代內廷八局之「兵仗局」,為內廷二十四衙門之一,屬於製作御用器物機構,首領為掌印太監。有明一代多有太監提督軍務,如正德年間有御馬監太監張忠,領欽差提督軍務銜,參與平息寧王之亂,故此處銘文當指某掌管兵杖局並有提督軍務之銜的曹姓太監。

「監造都司王之臣」中王之臣,陝西潼關衛人,萬曆二十三年(1595年)進士,天啟二年(1622年)擢都察院右僉都御史,巡撫宣府,天啟五年升兵部右侍郎,任薊遼總督,六年任兵部尚書兼都察院右副都御史,與袁崇煥共同經略遼東,後與袁不和,崇禎元年(1628年)被召回京師,後捲入魏忠賢案,去職去銜,終身不復起用。

此鎗管不同於一般明清鳥銃常見之細長,粗細適中而長短更似手銃,公私收藏中皆無可參考者,可謂目前所見最早之中國手槍孤例。此手銃脫胎於長管之鳥銃。鳥銃於十五世紀早期發源於歐洲,即西方所謂火繩鎗,通過海陸兩條途徑傳入中國。

陸路最早可追溯到正德年間,其時吐魯番吞併哈密,明軍馳援哈密,被吐魯番從土耳其獲取之火器擊退,明人稱奧斯曼土耳其帝國為嚕蜜,此火器即是趙士禎(活躍於約1552-1611)於《神器譜》中記載之「嚕蜜銃」,本件銃管與書中所繪圖樣十分相近,見明代趙士禎著,《神器譜》,萬曆二十三年本(1598年),台灣國家圖書館藏,頁11。奧斯曼土耳其與明廷有直接往來,嘉靖年間五次遣使至北京,隨團以嚕蜜銃護衛,嘉靖二十三年(1544年)使團以嚕蜜銃協防明軍,使團中軍械官員朵思麻(Tosuma, 1523-1606)為明廷留用,賜錦衣衛,七十四歲時將嚕蜜銃製作方法傳予趙士禎,趙上書朝廷量產,至天啟元年(1621年)明軍有裝備兩千嚕蜜銃之記載,見明代徐光啟著,《徐光啟集》,上海,上冊,1963年,頁172。

葡萄牙鳥銃經水路由葡萄牙人傳入中國南部,時間較嚕蜜銃稍晚,時在嘉靖二十七年(1548年)浙江巡撫朱紈進剿盤踞寧波雙嶼的葡萄牙海盜,繳獲葡萄牙製鳥銃,並加以改進,大規模生產裝備浙軍。關於明代火銃討論,參見潘吉星著,《中國火藥史》(The History of Gunpowder in China),上海,2016年,頁547-562。據趙士禎記載,土耳其人之嚕蜜銃火力、射程都較葡萄牙火銃優秀,且主要在北京被仿製,而葡萄牙鳥銃則主要在南方,加之王之臣一直經略北方,並無南下為官經歷,故此本件手銃應當屬於嚕蜜銃一脈。

明代鳥銃一般裝備在軍隊,軍中是否有射擊作為運動或比賽,文獻闕如,然而清代乾隆以前之皇帝都有自己的鳥銃,並且留下過鳥銃狩獵之圖像,如北京故宮藏《乾隆擊鹿圖》,見《故宮博物院藏文物大系·清宮武備》,上海,2008年,頁205。

Informations supplémentaires