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Matchlock Toradar

North India, early 19th century

A fine matchlock hunting carbine from North India. The muzzle ending in a Makara head crafted in brass. The hardwood stock is inlaid with small bone parts in repetitive patterns. The brass side panels are finely adorned with scroll motifs. The capucines and sling swivels too are crafted in brass. Excellent condition with traces of gold damascening on the barrel. Ramrod missing. Numerous 18thC miniature paintings from Kotah depict Rajasthani princesses with their entourage firing this type of short matchlock from the terrace of their shikaragah. They patiently wait for tigers coming to drink from the water reservoirs below the hunting tower. While the princess takes a shot, servants are busy reloading other matchlocks.

- Sotheby's New York, Friedland Collection.
- a similar hunting carbine: Thomas Del Mar Ltd, sale 27th June 2012, lot 60, Indian silver-mounted matchlock gun for a boy.
- Lord Egerton of Tatton: Indian and Oriental Arms and Armour. Dover Publications; Revised edition, 2002. Pages 52-53 for the line drawings, page 133 #678 for the description. About boy's guns he quotes Prince Soltykoff: "Voyage dans l'Inde", page 174.
- Robert Elgood: Firearms of the Islamic World in the Tareq Museum, Kuwait. I.B. Tauris Publishers. London / New York, 1995. Catalog number 110.