english relics

English Civil war musket ball cufflinks

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Stunning 17th Century Century English Civil War musket ball cufflinks. We have carefully sliced the lead balls in half, which has the double bonus of letting the musket balls sit well on the cuff as well as reducing the weight. (The balls are approximately 1.3cm in diameter and weigh 1oz). Every pair is unique and may differ slightly from the photograph. The colour of the balls is dictated by the soil in which they were found. The soldiers were issued with a musket ball mold with their gun which they would then use to cast their own shot. They are available with a solid silver plated or chain post.

The summer of 1642 saw the beginning of the worst hostilities our Island has ever known. The next decade was marked by The English Civil War, which pitched brother against brother, friend against friend. By far the most regular and symbolic archaeological find of the period is the musket ball. This was used in massed ranks with devastating effect with the infamous muzzle loaded matchlock musket. A large and diverse range of calibres are found as each musket was supplied with its own unique mould and it would be safe to assume an equally diverse range of sources of the lead raw material was used in shot manufacture with Medieval church roofs a popular choice.

Dangerous to use and only accurate to around 50-70 yards they were deadly effective when operated in a close rank volley. To convert something which was made with such brutal intent into something more positive and stylish, gives Peter, designer for English Relics, a strong link with the past which he finds very humbling. He is constantly surprised by how such war like artefacts can assume an elegant and discrete nature with which even ‘The Beau Brummell’ would be comfortable. From a technical point of view Peter always tries to give the minimum of treatments to all of the artefacts that he works with. With the musket balls, he drills tiny holes to take the bronze fittings and in doing so the shot becomes very hot, a temperature it has not reached since it was flying in anger 365 years ago. Lead takes on a pleasant cream patina after all this time in the ground and Peter tries to retain this where possible, stabilising this “natures gilding” with 3-6 fine coats of his own special blend of lacquer.

It is likely that the original maker would, if albeit amazed, approve of the aesthetic result.

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