The Internet Craftsmanship Museum Presents:

Antonio Rincón Granados

Added to museum: 12/5/06

Weapons historian and craftsman brings history alive with his miniature weapons of all types

Biography

(Note: spellings have been left in the European format as written by the author.)

The world of arms, their history, complex mechanisms and exquisite ornamentation have held a great fascination for Antonio Rincón Granados since his childhood. Antonio, as a result of extensive study and practice in this field, produces unique miniature copies of famous weapons, faithfully reproducing the detail and spirit of the originals. His pieces are fine gunsmith representations of arms, which destroy the myths surrounding weapons and convert them into works of art worthy of the wealthiest collections. This interest, to which he has dedicated 40 years of his life, was reaffirmed one day when he bought, from an antique shop in Bogotá, a 19th century Miquelet lock pistol, made by the Spaniard Agustín Bustindui, a master in the production of Damascus cannon.

 

Antonio Rincón at work. (Click on photo for larger image.)

Antonio Rincón was barely twenty years old when the magic of this antique testament to conquests, victories and defeats attracted his attention. A daily visit to the antique dealer's for some months was necessary in order to obtain the piece, as it had been reserved for a collector, but the ladies in the shop were finally persuaded and the purchase, of what for Antonio represented a genuine treasure, made.

Around 1962, by one of those strange tricks of fate, the person for whom the gun had been reserved was to become Antonio Rincón's mentor. This was the collector Luís Izquierdo, a member of the small select group of professionals that made up the Colombian Association of Arms Collectors. Among them was the pediatrician Alfonso Gutiérrez who owned a considerable collection and a library on the theme.

At Dr. Gutierrez's side, Antonio discovered the secrets of this hobby, learned about its history, of different mechanisms, but above all about how to distinguish the markings which confirm the authenticity of an antique weapon, a skill that enabled him to begin his own collection.

Today, this collection includes two pairs of dueling pistols in cases. One of the pairs is by the English maker John Manton, brother of Joseph Manton who first developed checkering or cross milling of handles to give a surer grip, a technique at which his sibling, John, was equally able.

The other cased pair is by Nicolás Noel Boutet, Napoleon Bonaparte's gunsmith, a leading figure in the history of this art for his detailed and impressive work. Boutet, with equal mastery, made luxury arms for the Emperor, generals and marshals as well as the standard arms issued to the troops. It is said that his work has never been surpassed.

Antonio Rincón also owns, among other beautiful antiques; a flintlock pistol of the year 1790, made by Henry Nock, one of the most important 17th century English makers; another English flintlock dated 1780 and all in metal by the gunsmith Dagless; a military percussion pistol made in France in 1850 by Chatelerot; and a tower system pistol of 1855 by the Irish makers John and William Rigby.

Books, files, private collections and auctions have occupied the time of this Colombian who enjoys international fame. His rigorous investigation and work as a gunsmith has brought him into contact with well-known experts on the subject.

One of the teachers who most influenced his career has been the North American Harold Macmillan. With this distinguished master, a skilled rifle maker and repairer, he learnt to assemble the different and complex mechanisms of firearms.

Frequent visits to exhibitions and countries that are home to the best collections have provided valuable information and knowledge. In England, Antonio was able make detailed observations, one by one, of the pieces in the Wallace Collection, the National Collection of the Tower of London and the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. Other collections to have come under his scrutiny are those of the Royal Armoury in Madrid, the Army Museum in Paris; recognised worldwide for its comprehensive displays of Napoleonic weapons, the Dresden Armoury where Saxon arms are notably abundant, and the Bavarian National Museum in Munich.

 In the U.S.A., Mr. Rincón was in direct contact with the curator of antique arms of the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City and correspondent of publications such as Man at Arms, Stephen V. Grancsay who wrote various commentaries about his work, admiring its high quality.

There also, Antonio Rincón met the present curator of the Museum, Stuart W. Pyhrr, who succeeded Grancsay after his death. Pyhrr, on inspecting the work of this native of the city of Tunja in the department of Boyaca, Colombia, South America, exclaimed, ''W. Keith Neal would have loved your work.'' This complement was received with approval as Pyhrr was referring to the famous English collector and arms specialist who owned some of the most fantastic arms that ever existed on earth. Later, Pyhrr invited Antonio Rincon to exhibit his work at the Arms and Armor Club of New York and backed this up with a conference in which he pointed out the achievements of the South American armourer.

 This experience has given Mr. Rincón the knowledge necessary to emulate the work of such craftsmen as Segallas, famous for his repeating arms and combinations with knuckle dusters, John and William Rigby, who stand out for their percussion and also for knuckle duster combinations, J. Purdey whose flintlock and percussion systems achieved world renown, and celebrities such as Bustindui, Boutet, Manton and Enfield, among other great gunsmiths.

There can be no doubt about Antonio Rincón's versatility. His artistic sense and dexterity are impressive. He has a watchmaker's skill in handling screws with the diameter of a hair, the precision of a jeweller, making minute engraved inlays in precious metals, and the ability to reduce to a third or quarter size the intricate mechanisms of firearms, taking on all the tasks involved in the manufacture of his miniatures. Whilst the production of the originals involved many experts such as specialists in barrels, mechanisms, butts, decorations and engraving, Antonio Rincón conscientiously carries out each one of these activities. The result is a precious piece of work in which functionality and aesthetics blend harmoniously.

The refinement and artistic perfection in each one of his pieces have given him a prominent international position in this field, backed up by exhibitions in Nuremburg, Tokyo, five in Houston, Texas, and several in other parts of the U.S.A. including Missouri, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Denver, Reno and Orlando. Today, he is the proud holder of many important prizes, among them the Outstanding Related Arms Exhibit, given in 1999 by the National Rifle Association of America, one of the most important organizations in the United States; the Best Contemporary Made Antique, conferred in 2000 by the Miniature Arms Society of Houston Texas; and the Award for the Best Miniature Arms Exhibited at the N.R.A. annual meetings, given in 2003.

His work has merited excellent reports in specialist magazines. Ralph Koebbeman, collector, curator of his own museum in St. Louis Missouri and correspondent of the Miniature Arms Journal wrote, "In the book Miniature Arms by Merrill Lindsay, published in 1970, I have seen a photograph of the original weapon which Napoleon Bonaparte had made by Boutet for his brother Joseph, king of Spain, by the side of which appears the miniature reproduction made by the North American jeweller Billy Johnson. Now I don't want to take any honors away from Billy but we do have a relative newcomer maker, nearby, who is taking aim at Billy's crown and that person is Antonio Rincón a South American who lives in Bogotá, Colombia. I have no way of knowing whether Antonio's workmanship is as good, better or inferior to Billy's but I do know that Antonio beats him on quantity. As far as I know, Billy only made one Boutet pistol, while Antonio has made at least four pistols and a carbine. Two of his pistols have 35 gold stars on the barrel and the carbine has 176. Billy's has 150 stars."

In 1994, Antonio's miniature of a flintlock pistol made by Boutet for Napoleon appeared in the magazine Guns Review of London with the following comment: "The photograph speaks for itself". The English correspondent of the American magazine Shooting the Breeze, Victor Francis, wrote, "We have not seen anything like this in England." Such comments have served to make Antonio ever more demanding of himself. His perfectionism knows no limits. No detail escapes him. He makes his own tools and uses only the finest quality materials. Gold and silver adorn barrels and plates. Exotic woods like ebony, walnut, (taken from the part of the tree where the root meets the trunk), cherry, varieties of maple: bird's eye, red sugar, curly and tiger tail maple are used to make butts, ramrods and cases.

Antonio Rincón displays part of his collection. (Click photo to view larger image.)

Barrels and plates are manufactured from best quality Swedish steel. Not one line of his reproductions strays from the original. With the greatest precision, he assembles different mechanisms including that of Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most complicated, which required study of the originals in the Codex Atlanticus, where most of this genius's inventions are to be found.

Such extraordinary and detailed work is that which merits the 'Antonio Rincón' signature.

At the present time, his creations form part of impressive collections such as that of Joseph A. Murphy, Ph.D., decorated by the U.S. Marine Corps, Vietnam veteran, banker, collector of Impressionist art and patron of the Morning Star Foundation for the prevention of battered and abused children. Murphy, who lives in Pennsylvania is a keen collector of firearms, especially those of the Colt company, of army pistols, Kentucky rifles and handguns. He also owns various 19th century weapons. In the Miniatures of the World Museum in St. Louis Missouri, his arms were on display alongside the most outstanding in this area.

It is worth noting that important private collectors, such as the North Americans Kennith Whichard of North Carolina and Brad Maxfield of New Berlin, Wisconsin have been on Antonio Rincón's waiting list for some years, demonstrating the highly prized nature of his handmade pieces.

Antonio Rincón does not produce in series. Fortunately, his income as representative for various tailors and industrial machinery companies have enabled him to dedicate himself to this profession, a singular passion which has brought him the distinction of being recognised as an authority on the subject, and is reflected in his perfect replicas which illustrate the history of arms to connoisseurs, amateurs and enthusiasts alike.

This book, which portrays the wonderful work of Antonio Rincón, takes us on a historical journey. It begins with iron weapons and passes through medieval cannon to nineteenth century firearms.

A timeline of significant dates for Antonio Rincón

A Chronology of significant dates, honors, published articles, shows and accomplishments

1938

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Antonio Rincón was born 16th July in the city of Tunja, department of Boyaca, Colombia South America.

1956

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Receives his secondary education qualifications and begins work with BVD, a tailoring company, which implies traveling all over Colombia and postponing a desire to study architecture.

1962

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After working with the BVD for about seven years obtains his qualification in marketing from the School of Sales and Management, Diriventas, and immediately begins importing industrial machinery from Europe.

1966

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Qualifies in design and metallurgy with Harold McMillan, of New Orleans, U.S.A.

1968

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Sets up his workshop and begins to work professionally as a miniature arms manufacturer.

1980

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The Colombian antique weapons collector and businessman Oscar Castro Gallego, acquires four of Rincón's replicas: an English blunderbuss, a Napoleonic pistol, a rifle and an Enfield pistol.

1984

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Antonio Rincón begins to receive international recognition and establish a reputation as a leading miniature gunsmith with the presentation of several replicas of firearms by Nicolas Noel Boutet before the Curator of Antique Weapons of the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, Stephen V. Grancsay. In this same year, Grancsay writes about the merits of the South American gunsmith's work in the magazine Man at Arms.

1991

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The English magazine Guns Review publishes a commentary on Rincón's amazing pieces.

1992

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The American magazine Shooting The Breeze, in its October edition, publishes the photo of a case of Rincón's Napoleonic duelling pistols and two blunderbusses, one percussion and the other a flintlock with folding bayonet.

1993

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In its June edition, the magazine Guns Review publishes a photo of an English back action percussion shotgun in the style of Joseph Harkom.

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The magazine Shooting The Breeze publishes, in July a note about a Harkom design English double-barrelled percussion lock shotgun.

1994

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A commentary about a case of Rincón's Napoleonic duelling pistols is published in October in the magazine Shooting the Breeze

1995

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In July, the magazine Shooting the Breeze dedicates the cover to Antonio Rincón's work, with a photograph of a case of duelling pistols. An extensive article featuring his medieval weapons appears in the same edition.

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Travels to Houston, Texas, U.S.A. and exhibits work at the HGCA, Gun and Antique Collectors Show, 3rd Annual Miniature Arms Show.

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The February edition of the magazine Guns Review dedicates two full-colour pages to his work in which are published photographs of four English weapons, a Segallas pistol, a pocket boxlock pistol and a Rigby tower system weapon. CLICK HERE to read the article.

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His weapons are exhibited with great success at the MESSE Centrum in Nuremberg, Germany, where several antique dealers acquire them.

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Antonio Rincón receives an invitation from the Miniature Arms Society to participate in an exhibition in Toyo Japan, where he presents several cases of duelling pistols, earning the highest praise.

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In its June edition, Gun, one of the best Japanese weapons magazines publishes in full-colour photographs of two cases of duelling pistols, replicas of those made by the gunsmith Boutet for the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. CLICK HERE to read the article. (Copy in Japanese)

1996

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Antonio Rincón visits the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City and presents his work to Stuart W. Pyhrr, the present curator of the museum who replaced Stephen V. Grancsay. Pyhrr invites Rincón to exhibit at the Arms and Armor Club, an exhibition that the curator supported with a conference at which he extolled the South American gunsmith's work.

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Exhibits in Houston, Texas, U.S.A. and at the HGCA Gun and Antique Collectors Show. 4th Annual Miniature Arms Show.

1997

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Ralph Koebbeman, curator of the museum Miniature World, in Saint Louis Missouri, U.S.A. acquires a case of duelling pistols with the Imperial eagle by Antonio Rincón, replicas of those manufactured by Nicolas Noel Boutet.

1998

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The magazine Shooting The Breeze, in its April edition, publishes one of Rincón's Napoleonic carbines on the cover and dedicates a page in its October edition to eleven of his weapons.

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He Travels to New York to visit the famous company of gunsmiths, Holland and Holland.

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In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., Rincón participates in the important exhibition of the National Rifle Association of America Annual Meetings and Exhibits. There he sells several pieces to distinguished private collectors.

1999

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The magazine Shooting The Breeze publishes a photograph of a Napoleonic carbine by Rincón on the cover of the January edition.

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Ralph Koebbeman buys another of Rincón's miniatures: a double-barrelled English flintlock shotgun.

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Antonio Rincón is invited to participate in the Missouri Valley Arms Collectors Association Exhibition. Fourth National Rifle Association National Gun Show & Conference. 29th Annual K.C. National Summer Arms Show. K.C. Market Center Inn Kansas, Missouri, U.S.A.

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The book The Art of Miniature Firearms, of the Miniature Arms Society of United States of America, which brings together the principal miniature arms manufacturers of the world, includes a comprehensive sample of Rincón's work. }

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Antonio Rincón receives the Outstanding Related Arms Exhibit prize, awarded by the National Rifle Association of America for his superb miniatures presented at the National Gun Show & Conference in Kansas, Missouri U.S.A.

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The Colombian Guillermo Londoño, distinguished businessman and arms collector, acquires a case of Napoleonic duelling pistols and two double-barrelled English shotguns, one a flintlock and the other percussion system, by Antonio Rincón.

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In April, the magazine Miniature Arms, directed by Ralph Koebbeman, dedicates two pages to the conference given at the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City about Rincón's work. The July edition of the same magazine carries a note about an English Manton-design shotgun, and in the October edition an article is published highlighting the precision craftsmanship of a case of duelling pistols which were mandatory for generals and marshals of the Napoleonic army: all the foregoing weapons manufactured by Antonio Rincón.

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Participates in the National Rifle Association of America Annual Meetings & Exhibits en Denver, Colorado U.S.A.

2000

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Ralph Koebbeman buys, for the Miniature World museum, a case of Napoleonic weapons consisting of a carbine and a pair of duelling weapons.

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Awarded the prize for "Best Contemporary Made Antique" for his wonderful display at the 8th Annual Miniature Arms Show in Houston, Texas, U.S.A.

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The magazine Miniature Arms publishes, in July, an article about two of Rincón's unusual pocket pistols.

2001

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Rincón participates in the 9th Annual Miniature Arms Show en Houston, Texas, U.S.A. where he sells several pieces.

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The magazine Miniature Arms publishes the following articles: in the winter edition there is a commentary about two of Rincón's combination weapons: a wheellock and a flintlock; in the summer edition a review of the Napoleonic riding carbine with two pistols that won the Outstanding Related Arms Exhibit prize.

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The collector Kennith Whichard, of North Carolina U.S.A. buys an English double-barrelled shotgun and case of flintlock duelling pistols.

2002

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Rincón is invited to participate in the National Rifle Association Annual Meetings and Exhibits en Reno, Nevada, U.S.A.

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The doctor, Brad Maxfield of Wisconsin, U.S.A. acquires a combination weapon, which includes an axe, pick and flintlock gun.

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Exhibits at the 10th Annual Miniature Arms Show in Houston, Texas, U.S.A.

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In the winter edition of Miniature Arms, there appears a commentary about Antonio Rincón's replica of a historic Napoleonic shotgun.

2003

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Travels to Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. and participates with his work in the National Rifle Association Annual Meetings & Exhibits, an event held in honour of Charlton Heston.

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The doctor, Joseph A. Murphy, Ph. D., veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, important businessman, banker, Renaissance art collector, and owner of the finest and most valuable collection of weapons of the Colt company, and of Kentucky rifles and pistols of the 19th century among other arms, becomes acquainted with Antonio Rincón's work and buys a case with a Napoleonic shotgun and orders five replicas of weapons by Nicolas Noel Boutet from the year 1803. An order of which Antonio Rincón is very proud, as it means that his work is part of one of the most important collections in the world.

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In April, the collector Kennith Whichard acquires from Antonio Rincón a case of miniature duelling pistols: replicas of the work of Nicolas Noël Boutet.

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In the October edition of the magazine Action Armes & Tir of Paris, an article with photographs is published about the following replicas of the work of Boutet by Antonio Rincón: three Napoleonic carbines and a case of duelling pistols.

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Antonio Rincón still works in the importation of industrial machinery after 42 years in the business. His activities alternate between the manufacture of miniature weapons and the representation of several industrial machinery companies.

2004

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Antonio Rincón still works in the importation of industrial machinery after 42 years in the business. His activities alternate between the manufacture of miniature weapons and the representation of several industrial machinery companies.

2005

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Exhibits in Houston, Texas U.SA., at the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits.

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Receives the Silver Medal from the Gun Collectors Committee of the National Rifle Association of America. 

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Exhibits at the Club el Nogal, a sample of miniature weapons, and the open of the public to your book Great Arms in Miniature.

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The dairy “El Tiempo” published an article about the exposition and the life to Mr. Rincón.

A 2005 article in Miniature Arms announces Antonio's latest book, Great Arms in Miniature. (Click on image to view PDF file of entire article.)

2006

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Exhibits in Milwaukee, U.SA., (Freedom’s 2ND Army) at the 135TH NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits.

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Nominated by Dr. Joseph a. Murphy PhD., Martha J. Murphy PhD., member of the committee of the National Rifle Association, and Bruce Stern, member of the committee of the NRA to receive the award of the silver medal for the 2007 NRA Show to be held in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Page 1     Page 2 — Click on the images to the left to read an article on Mr. Rincón's work in The Miniature Arms Journal, Summer 2006.

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Article in Miniature Arms Newsletter, October, 2008 featuring a set of dueling pistols by Antonio Rincón. (PDF file)

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Article in Miniature Arms Newsletter, April, 2009 featuring a Rigby pistol by Antonio Rincón. (PDF file)

2012

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Article in Stréleká Revue featuring an overview of Antonio Rincon's extensive work in miniature arms. (PDF file)

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Great Arms in Miniature

by Antonio Rincón Granados

Edited in 2005. This book is available for order in the USA by contacting Alice McGinnis, 2109 Spring Street, Cross Plaines, WI 53528
Tel. (608) 798-2860.

Antonio Rincón Granados has entered into a thorough investigation of history to bring to the present the curious forms of early cutting weapons, the complex structures of catapults and trebuchets, the use of cannon and the significance of the development of small arms.

Mr. Rincón illustrates this theme with his extraordinary creations in miniature, allowing us to appreciate: the serpentine, which was the first attempt to mechanize firearms; the complicated mechanism of the wheel lock; the simplicity of the flintlock; and the breakthrough represented by the percussion system.

The work of Antonio Rincón is unique, since another collection of scale model arms with the characteristics of his is not known. Each one of the parts involved in the manufacture of his minute weapons is made by hand. These are working models, with the technical specifications of their period, which allow the observer to see and sense their place in time.

Antonio's miniatures do not compete with those produced in series in a factory. His is the work of a craftsman and takes us on a journey through history.

CLICK HERE to read an article about the book in the Miniature Arms newsletter.

The Jewel of the Imperial Crown in Miniature

by Antonio Rincón Granados

Click on either image to view a larger version of the book cover or inside flap.

Antonio Rincón's latest book was released in late 2009. Like the previous book it is available for order in the USA by contacting Alice McGinnis, 2109 Spring Street, Cross Plaines, WI 53528, Tel. (608) 798-2860. The cover features a photo of the LeGrand Arms set with carbine, pistols and accessories shown in more detail in the photos that follow.

Here are photos of some of Antonio Rincón's many projects:

(Click photos for larger images.)

Pistols and Rifles
Mr. Rincón's latest project in miniature is a 1/4 scale single-barreled flintlock hunting shotgun designed by Joseph Manton. It has a gooseneck hammer and a total length of 11-3/4 inches, including the barrel which measures 8 inches. The 6-1/2" stock is made of Circasian walnut, while the case is manufactured in Colombian mahogany. The fitted case contains an assortment of accessories, such as a bullet mold in steel for casting bullets, a hammer with cutting edge to sharpen flints, a powder flask engraved in silver, a small canister of chiseled and engraved work in silver, a brush with badger hair for cleaning, a needle with ebony handle to remove soot, a heavy hammer to cut patches, a patch cutter, a steel screw driver with ebony handle, a steel key to remove the springs, a small oil bottle, a three-dose powder measure of with ebony handle, an ebony ram rod with an ivory handle, a ebony plaque surrounded in ivory with the name of Antonio Rincón with fleur-de-lis design and miniature hunting scene in silver.

Another recent project is this 9-inch long, octagonal hooked-breech barrel, poly-groove rifled carbine that is highly decorated with an elaborated damascened panel of engraved gold work depicting panoplies-of-arms, crossed canons and flags, classical motifs of Grecian-styled urns ushering forth clouds of incense and Masonic symbols of flaming orbs. There are six cartouches of Nocilas Boutet, Jean Le Clerc and BC (unknown).
The rifle is approximately .18 caliber at the muzzle. It features decoration including 398 five-pointed stars only 1/32" tall. The decorated trigger guard is solid gold. Decoration on the gun includes high-relief gold work with sphinx and classical faces, a medieval boar hunt, mythological figures, scrolls, foliage, dragons, rope and floral molded borders, medusa head, armor and more. Ebony from Zaire is used on the stock, and carved ivory is also used in the designs.
Here is a collection of Boutet carbines and dueling pistols, all extravagantly decorated. These photos added in January, 2009 show the left and right sides of the miniature weapons.
  A flintlock pistol with decoration.
  (Awaiting caption from Mr. Rincón.)
  A four-barreled Flintlock pocket pistol. It's total length is 3.3 inches including the steel barrels which are only .79" long. The stock is of Colombian wood and has a hilt that is checkered or cross-milled to the scale of the original. It includes a mahogany case (not shown.) 
Two sides of a small pistol are compared to an American $0.10 coin.
A rifle and two matched pistols.
This Flintlock Blunderbuss with Bayonet is 6.69" long. The bayonet can be folded flat against the cherry wood stock. The box is made of mahogany.
A set of boxed flintlock pistols by Geres Brothers with boxlock design. Each pistol is only 3.35" long with a steel barrel measuring 0.79 inches. The handles and velvet lined case are made from Zaire ebony.
The bottoms of the pistol grips are cast with the figure of a lion.
Flintlock dueling pistols with a figure of Minerva on the butt plate. They are 5.13" long in 1/3 scale. The stocks are red sugar maple inlaid with gold and silver. The case is mahogany.
This small flintlock pistol features a clever built-in ram for loading the charge.
An array of carbines and dueling pistols.
Bustinduei design Miquelet percussion-lock pistol in case. The second photo shows the individual items in the set displayed outside the case.
A flintlock carbine of Griffen design along with some of the shooting accessories that go with it.
Double barrel percussion system English hunting shotgun in case with accessories.
A double barreled flintlock hunting shotgun with French design hammers.
A double barreled flintlock hunting shotgun with gooseneck hammers. It is built in 1/3 scale and has total length when assembled of 15.35" with barrels measuring 10.04".
An Enfield percussion carbine.
A flintlock blunderbuss with bayonette in fitted, velvet lined case.
Carving detail on the bottom of a flintlock rifle.
A flintlock carbine with a rosette on the stock.
A matched set of flintlock dueling pistols with French hammer and a figure of medusa on the butt-plate.
A flintlock four-barreled pocket pistol in presentation case.
A flintlock rifle with battleax and pick.
A set including a flintlock saddle holster carbine and pistols.
    Photo 1: LeGrand Arms and Accessories on the garniture. (The fitted insert that goes inside the case.)

Photo 2: LeGrand carbine alone, left side.

Photo 3: A closer view of the decoration on the stock.

Photo 4: Right side of the carbine.

Photo 5: The full display in its case.

Photo 1: A closer view of the holster pistols from the LeGrand set.

Photo 2: A pair of pocket pistols from the LeGrand set.

LeGrand case with different labels to the admirals.
Manton patent flintlock dueling pistols in a birdseye maple case.
Medusa pistols shown with accessories. The second photo shows the Medusa head detail from the butt-plate with hand for size reference. The third photo shows a closer detail.
Matchlock pistol.
Percussion system blunderbuss.
Spanish Miquelet pistol
Two flintlock blunderbusses with bayonets and a percussion blunderbuss with accessories.
  A wheel lock pistol combined with medieval mace, detail. Also, the complete weapon on a historical document that describes it along with its accessories.
Wogdon flintlock pistol with accessories

Photo 2: Wogdon, Manton, Boutet flintlock dueling pistols compared in size to an American $100 bill. (Length of banknote = 6.13")

In May, 2008 Antonio added the following two pieces:

This is a set of 1/3 scale Boutet dueling pistols. These feature two gold worked panel sections on the muzzles over breeches depicting floral swags, geometric patterns and classical symbols. Over each barrel flat are spread an orderly array of 134 five-pointed gold stars. Each pistol is numbered "216" on the left-most flat. The ebony full stocks are entirely encased in profuse inlays of gold wire and large gold panels depicting foliate meander and arabesques. The octagonal gold butt caps each bear a classical female portrait bust in high relief surrounded by classical motifs of hands, mirrors, scale of justice and others on each of the eight sides. Overall length of each pistol is 6"

The second of the additions is set of two miniature Rigby pistols from Ireland. One has three barrels and the other has four. The 4-barrel pistol features a rotating nose or turret design with a bayonet protruding from the center. It is presently in the process of being engraved. Each is displayed in its own box with the appropriate related tools for loading and care.
In January, 2009 Antonio sent additional photos of the Rigby pistol after engraving.
Photos of Mr. Rincón's newest project arrived in September, 2009. He has been busy with this 1/3 scale garniture set. It represents a copy in miniature of a Le grand nécessaire d'armes. He describes its as "An important and unique five-piece gold and silver-mounted Grand nécessaire d' armes by Nicolas-Noel Boutet, Versailles and presented by Premier Consul Bonaparteto Lt. General Admiral Don Federico Carlos Gravina, Duque de Gravina y Nápoli, Spanish Ambassador to the Court of St.Cloud, and Commander of the Spanish fleet at the battle of Trafalgar. Perhaps the most striking all the wonderful gold and silver inlays in this garniture is the large panel depicting a Sphinx. The intense interest in designs and motifs from the classical periods of Greece, Rome and Egypt had never abated from Pre-Revolutionary France and during the Consulate period and first Empire, the excitement in Egyptian-manner ("Egyptomania") designs flourished after Baron Dominique Vivant Denon published his drawings made during Napoleon's Egyptian campaign."
A Boutet designed rifle built in honor of a friend. To read the article on this gun in "Miniature Arms," CLICK HERE. (5/10)
In August, 2010, Antonio sent photos of his latest project: a 1/4 scale Boutet "Legion of Honor" pistol set. It features swamped octagonal barrels decorated with the Boutet marks and embellished with two gold-worked panel sections at the muzzles and breeches. Rear sights each lock with roller frizzen springs. The ebony stocks feature inlays of gold that depict an earth orb and shield depicting the arts, engineering and architecture. Over these are two figures of an imperial eagle supporting the cross of the Legion of Honor and over it an Imperial Crown. Solid gold counter plates depict a bas-relief mannered interpretation of a classical scene of a god surveying an ancient landscape and another in solid gold showing a medieval boar hunt. The classical butt caps each include a classical female portrait in high relief. The ramrod pipes and ramrods are made from ebony and ivory. The case is made from birdseye maple.

In November 2010, the photos to the left were received. Of them Mr. Rincon says of the 1/4 scale regulation pistol sets for General officers: "Model Vendémiaire AN-12—The regulation of Vendémiaire AN-12  (l803 ) established uniformity within the General Staff of the Consulate Empire. A type of regulation pistol was created for Generals, Admirals, and Generals Staff officers, and  a basic model was established. This l8 mm caliber pistol adhered to a specific aesthetic, and carried on the butt-plate a symbol in silver corresponding to the service. The symbol for the Army (infantry-cavalry) was the head of Medusa or of Jupiter, that of the Navy was the head of Neptune, and the butt-plate of the pistol for General staff had its own design: a Roman sword crossed by oak leaves and two crossed palms. The 18 mm barrel is grooved, decorated with Damascene work, and is fixed to the butt or mount by means of a screw at the end and two bolts at the base of the barrel. The ramrod is in walnut with a tortoiseshell head, and the extractor has a steel head, characteristic of combat weapons. The lock is of the French type and signed “Boutet a Versailles.” The top face of the octagonal barrel is also engraved with the name and location of the renowned manufacturer. The counter plate is typical of the Empire. It is secured by two screws, one within a floral motif and another within the wings of an eagle, as was common during this epoch, Metal parts are in steel with motifs characteristics of the Empire, but without chiseling. This confirms that the pistol was intended for combat. The mount is in selected Turkish walnut without decoration other than the checkering of the grip. On the oval butt-plate, the pistol carries the typical medallion in silver with the head of Medusa, signifying its owner's rank of general. Although the pistols were made to a standard design, in some cases, and according to the wealth of the recipient, more elaborate decorations may have been specified during the manufacture.

Garniture Set—“LE GRAND NECESSAIRE D' ARMES.” The magnificently cased five- piece garniture of gold mounted arms  by the premier arms maker of early 19th century France, Nicolas-Noel Boutet of Versailles, is comprised of one carbine, two pairs of pistolets, an assemblage of tools and accoutrements. It also bears five  extraordinary paper labels noting presentations of other Boutet arms by Premier Consul Bonaparte in 1803 to Don Federico  Gravina y Nápoli ( 1756-1806 ), Don Federico Moyua, Captain of the San Telmo; Captain d"Spinola of the San Joaquin,Don Diego Butron y Cortés, Captain of the Vigilant; and Captain Castillo of the Nuestra Señora de la Atocha. This garniture set of arms was manufactured in full extension by Antonio Rincon at 1/3 at scale in Bogotá Colombia.

Muff Pistols

 

Gunsmithing Tools

The Muff Pistols—The 7/l6 inch polished steel round barrels are approximately l8 caliber and are each engraved with three bands of roundels. Floral swags, dots and meandering line-work are finished with individual bands of drapery and " dot and diamond" moldings around muzzles. Both are engraved about the barrel’s circunference “Manuf.re a Versailles,” with polished steel box locks engraved with hunting scenes of birds, lion, dogs and linx, and whimsical monkeys playing musical instruments in the manner of Jean.baptiste Oudryand. Inscribed on top-plate behind the pan, “Boutet Directeur artiste.” Each lock jaw is engraved with a donkey head and has concealed triggers. Each burl ebony bag shaped stock is set with 34 high-relief gold studs pique. Along the exterior edges of the grips, the studs themselves are outlined with gold wireforming to make an enclosure for two engraved gold embellishments ( 4 per pistol ) of mithological wyverns (or sea-serpents ) breathing fire. Along the back straps of each stock are inlaid seven engraved gold-panels alternating between motifs of diamonds and spider-webs of 16 vanes. Two motif themes which appear throughout the garniture’s ornamentation including the spider-web design of the case’s silver plate.
Many years ago, Antonio made a miniature cased set containing 2 percussion lock pistols copied from an original set manufactured circa 1840 by Joseph Harkom of Edinburg. The case is 1/5 scale, measuring 9 cm in length. The stocks are cherry wood and the Damascus barrels have swivel ramrods and a total length of 7 cm. The barrels are 3.5 cm long and have a ring of 18 karats at the breeches and the mark "Josheph Harkom" engraved on top. The back action locks contain designs of the period and are only 2.5 cm. All the mechanisms are totally functional, and have accessories for use and cleaning. (July, 2012)
Cannon
An 18th Century Bombard
Bombard of Italian design
A rear elevation Bombard
A bombard with a palasaide that was raised to fire the weapon and lowered to protect the gun crew during the loading sequence. The second photo shows a top view.
Colubrine
An English field cannon
A cannon from the German campaign
Naval cannon with rams for loading the charge
Field Cannon, added May, 2012
Siege Weapons
SIEGE TOWER—Towers such as this were filled with men who were protected by the thick wooden walls from enemy arrows. The tower was rolled against a wall and the drawbridge was lowered to allow the men to attack the wall.
CATAPULT—A counterweight on the lever arm powers this catapult. The arm is brought down with a winch, raising the counterweight. The projectile is loaded into the cup at the end of the arm and then the securing line is released, allowing gravity to power the projectile toward the enemy.
TREBUCHET—This more sophisticated catapult used a combination of a pivoting counterweight and a sling to launch projectiles even farther and quite accurately.
SCORPION—This bow weapon designed like a giant crossbow used the power stored in multiple drawn bows to fire a long projectile great distances.
Pikes, battle axes, mace and chain—a collection of ancient fighting weapons in miniature.
Crossbow or Arbalest—This weapon is included in Mr. Rincon's 5th and most recent book, Miniature Antique Firearms, Punishment Devices and Curiosa.
Miniature Tools and Accessories
This miniature boxed set of gunsmithing tools is shown with the tools in the fitted box and sitting on its lid. A fountain pen at the bottom of the photo and a US penny in the second photo provide size scale. These photos were submitted April 11, 2011.
Two flasks for wheel lock weapons. Again, a US penny serves to provide size reference on these intricate pieces. (June, 2011.)
Bullet making and gunsmithing tools, May, 2012

Powder tester, circa l765-85—This box lock design flint lock system in 1/4 scale has a stock in ebony wood inlaid with tiny sculptures of gold depicting equestrian scenes. The body, buffer and ratchet wheel are made from stainless steel engraved with floral designs all functional. The short, stubby barrel was loaded with powder to be tested, then closed up by the buffer lever of the ratchet wheel. A powerful spring which held the buffer pressed against  muzzle was also the ratchet pawl ( its handle may be seen below trigger). When the device was fired, the force of the explosion caused the wheel to spin for a partial turn. The user then counted number of notches spun. In theory, high quality powder would account for many notches—fifteen or all seventeen—and a low grade powder for only three of four, etc. While serviceable for discriminating between extremely good and extremely bad powder, these devices were unreliable for measuring differences of quality in middle range.  (December, 2012)
This recently completed array of accessories shown in the photo includes, left to right: 1) Powder tester, 2) Silver shot pouch, 3) Steel bullet mould two cavities, 4) Steel hammer, 5) Silver oil bottle, 6) Ebony funnel, 7) Steel powder tester, 8 )  silver powder flask, 9 )  Steel and brass bullet mould six cavities,10 ) Damascus barrel, 11 ) Barrel key, 12 ) Steel wad cutter, 13 ) Steel screw vice, 14 ) Steel spring clamp,15 ) Steel spring clamp, 16 ) Shot measure, 17 ) Screw driver, 18 ) Wooden mallet, 19 ) Nidle, 20 ) Steel measure dose, 21 Steel double spring clamp, 22 ) Set trigger with screw for adjusting the trigger tension, 23) Steel hammer to sharpening flints, 24) Nipple key, 25) Spanning or wheel-lock key. February, 2013
Additional photos of two more wooden boxed sets of tools were also included. February, 2013

Louis XIV Carbine

This miniature carbine is a copy of a weapon made in 1/4 in scale by Piraube aux galleries à Paris in 1682 for Louis XIV in classical style. This era provided Louis XIV ample opportunity to use and present fine arms from the most famed workshops of France . These presentation guns frequently embody the apex of the gun maker’s art and have been sought after by scholars and collectors, both institutional and private ever since. The present rifle richly inlaid and mounted in silver, certainly equals and perhaps surpasses any of the arms Piraube produced or those of any contemporary maker. The design, execution and materials used elevate the present example into a realm whose peers are already lauded in the permanent collections such as the Windsor Castle, Wallace Collection London, livrustkammaren Stockolm, Gewehrgalerie Dresden, Louvre Paris, Bayerisches National Museum Munich and the Metropolitan Museum of art of New York City.

These guns mark the introduction to that brilliant period in the history of French gun making which is called the classical Louis XIV style. They are of the inestimable value for acquiring a knowledge of the very best in French gunmaking. The Louis XIV original gun is now preserved in the Windsor Castle No. 425. The miniature is mounted in a piece of tiger tail maple full stock from the United States and is decorated on the butt with an inlay of a silver classic monument with equestrian figures , in the center a bas relief mannered interpretation of a classic scene of a god surveying an ancient landscape, two prisoners and a sculpture of Louis XIV on horseback and the figure of Fame the goddess of rumor (gossiping) blowing a trumpet, flanked by two Putti (genius) with palms of peace laurel crowns in their hands. Represented on the other side are scenes from the chase which decorated the butt. This hunting scene is derived from prototypes by Jean Baptiste Oudry, 1686-1755. A silver counter-plate depicts a medieval boar hunt with three mounted riders, one shooting with crossbow and one man on foot thrusting boar spears into the defeated boar while attendants hold hunting dogs off to the side. Silver ram rod pipes feature the first pipe spreading out to incorporate a large oval portrait bust of classical male bust surrounded by trophies of arms and flags ramrod in ebony from Zaire, Africa. The trigger guard is also silver. The octagonal barrel is blue with matt finish and fore sight. The case is mahogany wood from Colombia.  The velvet for the lining of the case was imported from a small town in France called Saint Haon. It was produced on a hand loom, using 100 0/0 silk thread. The binding of the interior of the case is outlined with gold brocade borders, two compartments for additional accessories, a silver powder flask and a silver shot pouch chiseled by hand with motifs of the period and a silver plate depicting a medieval boar hunt worked in open work high relief and the name of the maker, Antonio Rincon.      (January, 2016)

The second photo shows the match in the touchhole.

Matchlock Pike, “Holy Water Sprinkler”

Two handed club with spikes and a small spear. The head also contains three pistol barrels fired by hand held match. The touch holes originally had sliding lids, while swiveling plates covered the muzzles. This clumsy and dangerous weapon was described in the inventory of Henry VIII’s armory taken after his death in 1547, as a Holy Water Sprinkler, but during the 17th, century in became known as Henry VIII’s walking staff.  (January, 2016)

The second photo above shows the match being ignited.

Pistol shield from Henry VIII's armory

This is a rare, experimental combination of body armor (shield) and a weapon (matchlock) gun. The gunsmith Giovanni Battista of Ravenna proposed this gun shield to King Henry VIII of England in 1544. Interested in technology, the king had 100 made for bodyguards. As a firearm, it was too heavy to aim unless rested on a support and was rejected for use. However in the late 1600, 66 were still kept in the Royal armory, perhaps as curiosities. Technological hybrids were appreciated as attempts to do two things at once. Lock mechanisms for firing gun were made by smiths who made lock for doors or chests. A door lock by Henry VIII’s master locksmith is in the Walter Art Museum in the Collector’s Study.

Made of steel plates on a wooden base, it is armed with a breech loading matchlock pistol. The shield was held by a grip in one hand, the other being employed to operate the matchlock which fired the pistol. Just above the barrel is a sighting aperture. A number of these pistols shields were made during the 1540’s, probably for Henry VIII’s personal guard.  One photo shows the interior of the pistol shield, showing the mechanisms of the pistol. The breech could be opened for the insertion of a reloadable steel cartridge filled with powder and ball. The slow burning match was held in a swiveling holder or serpentine that brought the glowing end on to the touch hole when the trigger or lever was pressed. Like most combination weapons, the pistol shields were more impressive than practical.

(January, 2016)

Matchlock Warder's Key

Designed to be both a key to a prison cell and a gun for the jailer to defend himself, this is an interesting combination of practicality and self-defense. Due to the unreliability of gunpowder weapons in those days, combination weapons were often found. Whether it was a matter of lack of faith or simply an overabundance of caution, some gunmakers, or perhaps it was their customers, wanted a firearm that was guaranteed to fire. Since the wheellock could go wrong, they had a matchlock ignition system fitted in case of its failure.

English Spring Gun

This miniature model of an English spring gun shows the method of mounting with trip cords. The pivot is driven into the ground immediately below the lock, and the device is free to rotate to the limit of the rear chain, in the direction of the cord pull.

Spring guns were actually designed to shoot the intruder. They could be set up at any point on an estate, in a churchyard or in a garden; indeed, anywhere that required defence. Typical examples are fairly crude. The large wooden box-like structure has a flintlock mechanism mounted to one side and a short, bell-shaped barrel. They were usually fixed to a swivel and were free to rotate. The trigger was operated by means of roopes or lines, a numbers of which were spread out to cover a large area, all being attached to the trigger. An unwary intruder stepping on one of these lines not only fired the gun but also caused it to swing in his general direction before blasting off a charge of shot. They were not officially forbidden by law in England until the 1820's.

Other Items in Miniature

Scales—The first two photos show two views of a sliding weight scale and its box.

The second photo shows a balance scale for measuring expensive items by comparing to a known weight.

A miniature violin, bow and case.

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