Johnny Depp's portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie is arguably the most entertaining pirate role in history. Depp is reprising his role in the new Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man's Chest. As in the first movie, he's swinging his trusty cutlass and firing his lethal flintlock.
Captain Jack Sparrow is a master swordsman. He's capable of dispatching dozens of opponents with his cutlass, but when he's in a bind, his treasured flintlock pistol can blast him to safety (you'll all remember the usefulness of the flintlock at the end of the swordfight between Sparrow and Will Turner in the first movie...)
This Limited Edition Jack Sparrow Flintlock is a painstakingly crafted replica of the pistol used by Johnny Depp in "Dead Man's Chest." It's been weathered and antiqued to give it the appropriate Bucanneer feel, but is still a beautiful weapon to look at. Two-tone Engraved cast metal accents protect the stock and barrel, and form the loading and firing mechanism. The golden lockplate is masterfully etched with wing-feather patterns. The tumbler screw has a feathered circle pattern (or perhaps a sunflower or starburst) engraved on it. The hammer (or cock for you risque' types) is beveled and stylishly curved; at it's end are cast metal vise jaws that hold a simulated piece of flint-and-cloth pinched between them.
Like the sword, the Jack Sparrow Flintlock comes with a dazzling mounting frame and numbered limited edition plaque (i.e. 5 of 3000). The backing of the frame is wrapped with a pale canvas/burlap that calls to mind billowing sails and creaking masts. The frame itself is a massive piece of artwork with high-adventure waves and swirls carved throughout. Antiqued and weathered, the frame simulates an old treasure, perhaps unearthed in the cellars of a governor's mansion somewhere (or, since we're using our imaginations here, found in an armoire somewhere and bought at a tag sale for $8, then brought to the Antiques Roadshow where it was determined to be worth $6.4 million, auctioned at Christie's for $9.7 million after a bidding war between media moguls, then given as a gift to a mistress and, ultimately, sold to an eccentric Australian tycoon who now hides his safe behind it). Needless to say, the frame sets the imagination to work.
The Jack Sparrow Flintlock Pistol can be mounted on the hanging frame or carried in a belt or bandolier for easy access. It's a stunning weapon for display, or to truly complete any pirate outfit. Less than 3,000 of these are available for the worldwide consumption, so get yours while they last.
Overall length: 30” (together)
Blade Material: Weathered Stainless Steel
Grip Material: Antiqued Leather over Wood
Guard/Pommel: Battered Brass
Includes Impressive Mounting Frame and Numbered Plaque
The flintlock pistol was the greatest advance in pirating since the wooden leg. Developed in the 1600s, these pistols revolutionized ship-to-ship combat (and on-land raiding). The concept was fairly simnple: gunpowder was stuffed into the barrel. A lead ball, usually wrapped in some sort of fabric, was stuffed in. A metal rod (normally embedded in the bottom of the gun's barrel) was removed and used to jam the ball and powder as far back as possible, and as close as possible. A hammer (sometimes called a cock [insert giggles here]) was then pulled back half-way and left that way until the gun was ready to fire. The pistol technically was not meant to fire in this position, although sometimes they were known to go off half-cocked (and yes, that is the origin of that expression). Speaking of half-cocked, I went out out to the bar last night with my buddies and ... well, that's another story. Anyway, when the gun was ready to be fired, the hammer (or cock, hehehehe) was pulled back all the way and the trigger was squeezed. A the top of the hammer, a piece of flint was held in place by a vice. When the trigger was squeezed, the hammer was released and the flint struck a metal plate known as a frizzen. A spark would be created, which would light the powder in the barrel, which in turn would make a satisfying "boom" sound. A by-product of this "boom" was the ejection of the lead ball from the barrel at a high rate of speed. Flintlock owners had to be careful that the barrel was not facing anyone when they created their "boom" sound or injury or death could result.
Moisture or water was one of teh greatest threats to flintlock pistols. Wet powder would not light when sparked, so the flintlock owner would neither get the satisfying "boom" nor the lethal projectile.
Johnny Depp revolutionized pirates in film with his virtuoso performance as Captain Jack Sparrow in the 2003 film "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl". The movie (and his adept (or should we say, a-Depp) interpretation of the role created a Pirate-fervor across the world. There was merchandising aplenty for Sparrow-inspired goods, but no one tried to recreate the most important pieces of Sparrow's equipment; With the sequel, "Dead Man's Chest", coming out in Summer of 2006, Master Replicas has corrected that mistake. The Jack Sparrow sword and Jack Sparrow Flintlock Pistol have both been masterfully re-created and presented for the pleasure of collectors around the world.
The fictional Captain Sparrow was, originally, the captain of the equally fictional Black Pearl, one of the most feared pirate ships in the Caribbean. He was a fierce fighter, a strong captain and perhaps a little too kind of heart for a pirate. He had a certain eccentric class that makes him endearing, despite his constant state of drunkenness and his wobbly gait.
Captain Jack Sparrow's crew mutinied against him and marooned him on a deserted island. His First Mate, Barbossa, took command of the ship and promptly triggered a curse on himself and his crew by stealing a chest of cursed Aztec gold coins. Sparrow in the meantime either saved himself by riding sea turtles off the island or was rescued by rumrunners who used the island as a cache for their goods, depending on who you ask. From then on, he staggered and listed when he walked, slurred his speech and spasmed occasionally. Most of those traits allegedly came from heat stroke suffered on the island he was marooned at. The slurred speech, however, comes from his seemingly perpetual state of drunkeness.
Johnny Depp claims that one of his primary inspirations for the role was Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. Fairly odd, but it makes sense in some weird sort of way.
Master Replicas tells us that the several different versions of the Captain Jack Sparrow sword were made for the movie. For closes up shots, they made a real sword -- heavy, steel, you know the type. For action sequences, they made fake aluminum versions that could be swung more easily. Strongblade wisdom holds that, if you can't swing your sword, then you don't deserve it. But in this case, we'll let it slide. It is Johnny Depp, after all.
Romanticized and vilified in literature and film, pirates have been the subject of endless fascination. Pirates of course, are any group of sailors who prey upon other ships, stealing money or goods and sometimes harming or killing the crew. Eye patches seem to have something to do with piracy as well, but no one can really figure out what.
It's hard to say when pirating first started. There are reports of pirates as far back as ancient Greece, and possibly even before, but the pirates that most people think of are the ones from the 17th through the 19th centuries. This was a time when governments actually sanctioned piracy against their enemies (apparently, it was okay to steal from and murder people as long as they were considered enemies of your country). Under these government laws, anyone could attack ships belonging to an enemy country and keep anything that they could recover from the ships. Crews that took advantage of these laws were called "Privateers," which was French for "mean guys with parrots," or "men who drink rum." Well, okay. Privateer isn't really French at all. But "soufflé" is, and it means a "light fluffy dish of egg yolks and stiffly beaten egg whites mixed with cheese or fish or fruit."
Many countries encouraged privateers, including England, Spain, America, France, and many North African countries (these African countries formed the heart of the infamous Barbary Coast pirates). And while the idea of privateers might have sounded good when it was first thought up, it lost some of its charm later on. Here’s why: The privateers theorized that, "Hey, if I can get 100 gold a month attacking enemy ships, I could probably get 400 a month attacking any ship." They began testing that hypothesis and, soon, there were hundreds (thousands even) of former privateers attacking any ship that came near them. Thus began the Golden Age of Piracy.