While not a gun of
the Gurkhas, the Afghan jezail was certainly a firearm with which they became well acquainted.
Afghanistan Gurkhas & jezails.jpg [ 234.52 KiB | Viewed 4213 times ]
A curious cultural amalgam of native and Western craftsmanship, the jezail typically had a British lock in a distinctive curved and decorated stock. Its long barrel was used by the Ghilzai tribal marksmen as an early sniper's weapon, being fired with a barrel rest from the high ground to devastating effect on British troops below.
A scrimmage in a Border Station-
A canter down some dark defile
Two thousand pounds of education
Drops to a ten-rupee jezail.
1st Afghan jezails.jpg [ 228.53 KiB | Viewed 4213 times ]
All of which is by way of introduction to my latest acquisition - an Afghan jezail:
jezail OA.jpg [ 377.03 KiB | Viewed 4213 times ]
It has an East India Company flintlock of Baker pattern, made between 1819-1839. The lock could have been a trophy of the massacre at Gandamak during the First Afghan War, where a force of 690 British soldiers, 2,840 Indian soldiers and 12,000 followers were killed or in a few cases taken prisoner.
jezail lock CU.jpg [ 424.78 KiB | Viewed 4213 times ]
Decoration is typical:
jezail butt & sideplate.jpg [ 468.62 KiB | Viewed 4213 times ]
This new acquisition is a textbook example of how the collecting mania can get out of hand. Earlier this year John Powell offered me the chance to buy a kamar
, the accessory belt used with a jezail.
Afghan belt from JP.jpg [ 925.47 KiB | Viewed 4213 times ]
I thought it was so interesting, I bought it to go with my Afghan choora
Afghan choora 1.jpg [ 433.38 KiB | Viewed 4213 times ]
so when I came across the jezail this weekend, I really had no choice but to acquire it.
Now I just need a salwar yataghan (khyber knife). And a flask. And a barrel rest. Oh, and an Afghan kukri.