Language: Montenegrin? 
Source: Primary references


The džeferdar is a type of miquelet gun from the Balkans. One of its defining features is a rich use of mother-of-pearl inlays on the stock.

A fine dzeferdarA fine example of a džeferdar.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2019.


"One of the most beautiful and sought-after Balkan guns is the džeferdar or jeferdar, from the Turkish cevherdar, derived from the Arabic and Persian jauhar or johar, meaning lustre or jewel." 1

-Dr. Robert Elgood, 2009


Origin and intended market

Signed and dated examples of such guns attribute them to makers in Boka Kotorska and Western Herzegovina between the 17th century up to around 1870. The mother-of-pearl for the stocks was imported from Italy and cut in Risan in the Bay of Kotor, or Boko Kotorska. The best examples, some made with fine Ottoman barrels, were intended for the market in Istanbul.

The Bay of Kotor and other parts of Montenegro were under Venetian rule from 1420 to 1797 and stylistically, these guns are derived off firearms made in northern Italy, primarily Brescia, in the early 17th century.

This is mainly apparent in the profile of the stock and the presence of a "bridge" between the cock pivot and priming pan that served to strengthen the plate against the high strength of the spring. This bridge quickly disappeared on Italian and Spanish guns as engineers found that lighter springs could also do the job. Stronger springs with this reinforcing bridge did remain in use on many Ottoman and Balkan guns until the 19th century.3

Lock of the dzeferdarStock of the džeferdar, based on early 17th century Brescian examples.

Dzeferdar lock
Lock. Notice the "bridge" between the cock and priming pan.
The grooved battery face is a separate piece of steel, dovetailed into the frizzen.


1. Robert Elgood; The arms of Greece and her Balkan neighbours in the Ottoman period, Thames & Hudson Ltd., 2009. Page 75.
2. Ibid. Page 76.
3. Philip Tom, personal communication.

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