Reenactment musketeers might like to add an oil bottle and primer bottle to their existing sets. The larger muskets of the mid to late 17th century rendered flasks redundant as the smaller bore Arquebus and other such weapons were out-ranged on the battlefields, but they required a greater quantity of powder. There was still a need for the touch box to prime the pan and an oil bottle to keep the lock working.
Where to attach the Gun Oil Bottle and how to use it.
I have only two descriptions of oil bottles from the C17th. One is German where it was described as Zinnen which translates to pewter. The other ‘description’ I have is a brass oil bottle in an Austrian museum. I have not yet been able to date it but they have it on display alongside a Thirty Years War bandolier.
Engravings from the period show only the outside of the bottle when the musketeer is firing or loading; they do not show him oiling the lock. On the pictures, the bottle appears to hang near the bullet bag or primer. These pictures can be see on line in DeGuyne but it is not clear how they are attached. I assume the bead near the top of the bottle is to prevent the loop of the string from slipping over the spout but, again, I’m making assumptions.
I recommend a hole is made in the belt somewhere near the bullet bag to string the bottle up to. The bandoliers I have copied from the Tower collection are a complete band in that they are not shaped to a ‘V’ so that the whole belt can be swivelled around the body so it does not matter where the oil bottle is really. I provide a length of tarred linen thread with the oil bottle.