Miniature Toy Gun

a copper-alloy miniature toy gun

Miniature toy gun made from copper-alloy

This is a fairly well preserved example of a copper-alloy miniature toy gun, modelled on the ‘Petronel’ matchlock musket of the late 16th to 17th centuries. Similar examples have been recovered in several counties from Essex to Glamorgan and from Yorkshire to Somerset. This seems to be the first one to be found in Bristol.

Originally a working model, the gun was cast in a two-part mould so the barrel would have been hollow. The end of the ramrod has broken off and the shaft now seals the barrel, the touchhole at the join of the butt and barrel is blocked by corrosion.

The butt and barrel have ring-and-dot motifs on both sides, this is also a common feature on other toy petronels. The gun was recovered from a 17th century rubbish pit during an excavation to the rear of nos. 26-28 West Street, Old Market in July 2004.

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