Discover Georgia
Firearms that used to belong to the Georgian kings
14 July, 2018
Appearance of firearms in military equipment was a milestone and has changed the course of history. Since then, the quality and type of firearms has been improving, but original guns are still an issue of interest. Their mechanism is very simple – a firearm of previous period consists of a trigger, muzzle, stock and a hammer. But they also were decorated with gold and silver, or even with valuable stones.

Georgia was an important center of weaponry. Firearms produced in Georgia
were high quality and was popular among neighbors. Today, we explore firearms of Georgian kings that are kept in Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia. There are approximately 4000 entities of weapons and more than 1000 of them are firearms. Weapons that used to belong to the kings are the most impressive.

Firearms belonged to Georgian kings – Bakar, Archil, Erekle II, Solomon I, Solomon II and Giorgi XII.

King Bakar was born on April 7 1700, in Moscow. He was a General-Lieutenant of the Russian army and ruled Kartli (Central part of Georgia) between 1716 and 1719. Bakar participated in rehabilitation of Georgian printing house in Moscow. In 1743 the Bible was printed. Now it is known under the name The Bible of Bakar.

Firearm of Bakar is 178 centimeters long, the length of muzzle is 141 centimeters. The gun is decorated with gold. The stock ends with ivory and is decorated with silver.
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King Bakar's weapon

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King Archil spent last years of his life in Moscow

King Archil lived between 1647 and 1713. He ruled in Georgia in different years, but eventually migrated to Russia in 1698. According to the scientists, his firearm as well as others of same type were made in the Ottoman Empire and dates back to 16th and 17th centuries. At the time, it was common thing to import weapons produced in other places. Besides, weaponry in the Ottoman Empire was very developed.
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King Archil's gun

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King Erekle II used to wear Persian hat

Erekle II was born on November 7 1720 and passed away on January 11 1798 in the same room where he was born. Erekle reigned from 1744 to 1798. The muzzle of his gun is European, other parts are Georgian. The gun is assembled in Georgia. Its length is 134 centimeters, the length of the muzzle is 101 centimeters. With this gun Erekle won an important battle in July 1752.
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First gun of King Erekle II

The second firearm of Erekle II looks similar to the first one, it is 135 centimeters long and the length of the muzzle is 103 centimeters.
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Second gun of King Erekle II

King Solomon I reigned in western part of Georgia, Imereti from 1752 to 1784. He did not have a heir, so he decided to negotiate with King Erekle II. He offered him to send in Imereti his grandson – David. Erekle accepted the offer and David reigned under the name of Solomon II.
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King Solomon I of Imereti

The length of Solomon’s gun is 133 centimeters, the length of the muzzle is 105 centimeters. The gun is decorated with silver and different ornaments.
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King Solomon's gun

King Solomon II ruled Imereti in 1789-1810. Because of his merit towards the country, Georgian Church declared him as Saint. Like others, this one is decorated with silver as well.
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King Solomon II of Imereti

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Gun of the King Solomon II

King Giorgi XII was born in 1764. He was son of Erekle II. He reigned only for 2 years, from 1798 to 1800. In 1801 Russian Empire has abolished Georgian kingdom and the country was merged to Russia. His gun is 148 centimeters long, the length of the muzzle is 115 centimeters. It is decorated with gold and different ornaments.
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Giorgi XII was the last king of Georgia

It is worth mentioning that on every firearm kings used to put an inscription. It says to whom the gun belonged and who was the master.
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Gun of Giorgi XII

To sum up, we have offered you short information about weapon of the Georgian kings. In next article we will explore other Georgian weapons, like cannons and pistols.

On the first photo: Kings Erekle II, Solomon I, Solomon II

Source and photo courtesy (gun photos) - mod.gov.ge

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