The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Wheel-lock gun with ramrod
  • Wheel-lock gun with ramrod
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • South Germany
  • c. 1560
  • Steel, gold, copper alloy, wood and antler, etched, gilded, engraved and carved
  • Length: 115.3 cm, overall
    Length: 87.2 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.2 cm, calibre
    Weight: 3.27 kg
  • Stamp: A maker's or viewer's mark
  • A1075
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock gun, the barrel partly octagonal, etched for its entire length with arabesques and running foliage interspersed at intervals with exotic birds on granulated ground, formerly gilt. It possesses both foresight and backsight, the former being of brass. A maker's or viewer's mark is stamped near the breech.

    Lock with wheel partly sunk into the lock-plate and covered by a domed steel casing. This latter is etched with the Imperial eagle. The rest of the lock-plate is etched with foliage on a gilt ground, enclosing a central band which has a granulated ground filled with a black pigment instead of being gilt. The lever of the safety-catch is missing. The cock is engraved to represent a monster's head.

    Slender stock of German fashion, of wood entirely overlaid with antler, carved in relief with hunting scenes, grotesque masks, and on the underside the figures of Lucretia, Judith and a Landsknecht. On the base of the butt is a medallion with the head of a man in contemporary dress. Wooden ramrod with antler top carved en suite. Trigger-guard indented for the fingers.

    South German, about 1560.

    L'Art Ancien, IX, 1013.

    Provenance: Frédéric Spitzer.

    Compare the decoration on the lock of no. A1167.

    The barrel is hog-backed towards the muzzle. Its gilding was confined to certain areas.

    A V-spring on the inner face of the lock-plate beneath the sear-lever appears to lock the sear in the disengaged position. How it was unlocked is not clear. The pan-cover release-knob has been replaced by a screw.

    A pistol with a very similar lock, and comparable decoration on both lock and stock, was in the collection of Lord Astor at Hever Castle (sold Sotheby's, 5 May 1983, lot 68, repr. in cat.).

    W. Glage considers the lock of no. A1075 to be of typical Brunswick type, and the decoration of the stock to have Brunswick features (personal communication 1983).