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Japan & South West Scotland

Mystery Donors

Matchlock Gun

19th Century


The Japanese encountered firearms in 1543 when a Portuguese ship carrying them was wrecked.  They made copies, but although guns were used in Japan, swords remained the preferred weapon until the 1850s when Japan was forced into contact with the West.


This matchlock gun, dating from around 1800-1860, has an octagonal barrel which is decorated with an inlayed silver dragon on top.  There are small plum blossoms along the sides of the barrel.  There is also a shishi (a Chinese lion-like creature) on the handle.  The firing mechanism is of the snap-lock type.

Gifted by Mrs Murray.

Place of Production:
Wood, silver and brass
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:

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