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Online Counter Lock, Stock, and History
Lock, Stock, and History

An elaborately decorated wheel-lock tschinke musket originating from Silesia (southwestern Poland), circa 1630.

Sold at Auction: $19,000

Fun History Fact —- The Real Da Vinci Code

Leonardo Da Vinci wrote all of his notes from right to left in mirror image to prevent his ideas from being stolen.

Mona Lisa Stolen,

On August 21st, 1911 a little known still life artist set up his easel to make a painting of the Renaissance gallery in the Louvre.  In the midst of his painting the artist noticed something strange, the world famous Mona Lisa was missing from the gallery, leaving an empty space with four pegs.  The artist thought little about it, it was not uncommon  paintings to be removed for photographs, as cameras didn’t work well indoors back then.  Then the artist asked a nearby security guard when the photographers would be finished and return the painting.  The guard checked in with the photography department only to learn they didn’t have it.  In fact it couldn’t be found anywhere.  After a while only one conclusion could be made, the Mona Lisa had been stolen.  

A nationwide investigation was made into the theft.  Hundreds of witnesses were questioned.  Even the soon to be famous artist Pablo Picasso was interrogated as a suspect.  However the investigation found no conclusive evidence towards the identity of the thief.  It seemed as though the Mona Lisa may go missing forever.  Two years later, the painting was found, and an Italian nationalist named Vincenzo Perugia was arrested.  Perugia was a handyman who had actually installed the protective glass over the Mona Lisa.  On the day of the theft, he hid in a maintenance closet until the coast was clear, then simply removed it from the wall, walking out with the painting hidden under his jacket.  No Ocean’s Eleven squad of master thieves and con artists, no cat burglars, no Mission Impossible moves, Perugia simply walked out of the museum with painting hidden under his jacket.  He was noticed by nobody.

Perugia was an Italian patriot who stole the Mona Lisa not only to fatten his wallet, but for political reasons.  Leonardo Da Vinci’s assistant had sold the painting to the King of France after Da Vinci’s death.  From there it was passed down from king to king.  After the French Revolution it spent some time in Napoleon Bonaparte’s bedroom until eventually it found a place in the Louvre.  Despite centuries of French ownership, many Italians believed that because an Italian had painted it, it belonged back in Italy.

Perugia intended to sell the painting to an Italian museum or gallery.  However, unloading stolen art can be a bit tricky.  It’s best to have an unscrupulous buyer before the theft who doesn’t care that its stolen artwork.  However, going into a gallery cold and announcing, “HelloI have the Mona Lisa, would you like to buy it?”, is more than likely to raise suspicions.  Perugia did just that.  He tried to sell the painting to a gallery in Florence, but the gallery owner became suspicious, and immediately alerted the police.  

Perugia was arrested and sentenced to eight months in prison.  After his release Perugia was celebrated in Italy as a national hero.  In the meantime the Mona Lisa was fastened in a much more secure display case.  That was a good move, because since then the Mona Lisa has had acid, rocks, and cups thrown at it, been spray painted red, and survived the sticky hands of Nazi art looters.  Needless to say the Mona Lisa is well protected from anything short of a tactical nuclear strike.  It remains displayed at the Louvre to this day.

A design for a matchlock/wheel-lock mechanism by Leonardo Da Vinci.

A design for a matchlock/wheel-lock mechanism by Leonardo Da Vinci.

peashooter85:

A letter/resume from Da Vinci to the Duke of Milan requesting a position as military eningeer;

Having, most illustrious lord, seen and considered the experiments of all those who pose as masters in the art of inventing instruments of war, and finding that their inventions differ in no way from those in common use, I am emboldened, without prejudice to anyone, to solicit an appointment of acquainting your Excellency with certain of my secrets.

1. I can construct bridges which are very light and strong and very portable, with which to pursue and defeat the enemy; and others more solid, which resist fire or assault, yet are easily removed and placed in position; and I can also burn and destroy those of the enemy.

2. In case of a siege I can cut off water from the trenches and make pontoons and scaling ladders and other similar contrivances.

3. If by reason of the elevation or the strength of its position a place cannot be bombarded, I can demolish every fortress if its foundations have not been set on stone.

4. I can also make a kind of cannon which is light and easy of transport, with which to hurl small stones like hail, and of which the smoke causes great terror to the enemy, so that they suffer heavy loss and confusion.

5. I can noiselessly construct to any prescribed point subterranean passages either straight or winding, passing if necessary underneath trenches or a river.

6. I can make armoured wagons carrying artillery, which shall break through the most serried ranks of the enemy, and so open a safe passage for his infantry.

7. If occasion should arise, I can construct cannon and mortars and light ordnance in shape both ornamental and useful and different from those in common use.

8. When it is impossible to use cannon I can supply in their stead catapults, mangonels, trabocchi, and other instruments of admirable efficiency not in general use—I short, as the occasion requires I can supply infinite means of attack and defense.

9. And if the fight should take place upon the sea I can construct many engines most suitable either for attack or defense and ships which can resist the fire of the heaviest cannon, and powders or weapons.

10. In time of peace, I believe that I can give you as complete satisfaction as anyone else in the construction of buildings both public and private, and in conducting water from one place to another.

I can further execute sculpture in marble, bronze or clay, also in painting I can do as much as anyone else, whoever he may be.

Moreover, I would undertake the commission of the bronze horse, which shall endue with immortal glory and eternal honour the auspicious memory of your father and of the illustrious house of Sforza.—

And if any of the aforesaid things should seem to anyone impossible or impracticable, I offer myself as ready to make trial of them in your park or in whatever place shall please your Excellency, to whom I commend myself with all possible humility.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci’s volley gun.

The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci

The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci

Sketch of a cannon foundry, Leonardo Da Vinci, circa 1487.

Sketch of a cannon foundry, Leonardo Da Vinci, circa 1487.

A replica of Leonardo Da Vinci’s mechanical lion.  Da Vinci build the lion for the King of France in 1515.

Cluster bomb mortar sketch by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Cluster bomb mortar sketch by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo Da Vinci

Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo Da Vinci

Had it not been for the meddling of the ruler and his interference in what does not concern him, I would have dissected alive this son of mine, just as Galen used to dissect men and monkeys. As a result of dissecting him I would thus come to know the reasons for his stupidity, rid the world of his kind, and produce knowledge for people by means of what I would write in a book: the way in which his body is composed, and the course of his arteries, veins, and nerves. But the ruler prohibits this.

Yuhanna ibn Masawayh | Sailing From Byzantium, pg. 153

This guy was a Nestorian translator and court physician who believed his own son was too stupid to follow in his footsteps! (i figured that you would enjoy this because it is history and medicine)

——Thanks.  This reminds me a lot of Thomas Edison and his son Thomas Edison Jr.  Whereas Thomas Edison invented incredible new technology and brilliant revolutionary machines, his son made a living as a con man and builder of quack medical devices.  That was until the Feds shut him down for fraud.  At his trial his father served as witness for the prosecution, stating that his son neither had the intelligence or morals to create anything of wholesome use. Ouch!

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Anatomical sketches by Leonardo Da Vinci

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Happy Birthday to Leonardo Da Vinci, Born Today in 1452.

Happy Birthday to Leonardo Da Vinci, Born Today in 1452.

That Tiffany Winchester has to be the most beautiful firearm they did. Most of the revolvers they did. That rifle has just enough embelishment that it enhances it's looks, the revolvers it kind of took away from their looks.

Sometimes a gun can be overdecorated and gaudy.  With that stock and silver work, its just right.