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
  • Germany
  • c. 1600
  • Steel, ebony, mother-of-pearl, antler, copper alloy, gold and wood engraved, overlaid, etched and embossed
  • Length: 110.4 cm, overall
    Length: 84.2 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.6 cm, calibre
    Weight: 5.04 kg
  • A1080
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock gun, the barrel octagonal at the breech and terminating at the muzzle with a turned moulding. The surface is engraved with figures in classical and contemporary dress, now much worn, and showing faint arabesque overlay.

    The lock has an external wheel covered with a plate held in position by two screws. There is a self-winding mechanism, but the wheel-spindle is also furnished with an extension for a spanner. The lock-plate bears traces of etching and overlay, but the decoration, like that of the barrel, is much worn.
    The lever of the safety-catch is missing.

    Ebony stock of German fashion, profusely inlaid with mother-of-pearl and engraved antler in a connected design of strapwork, cartouches, human figures and putti holding swags of fruit, birds, monsters, satyrs and animals. There is a butt-trap with sliding cover. Heel-plate of gilt brass embossed in relief with a male figure in the costume of c. 1600 blowing a horn. The shoulder of the stock at the breech-strap of the barrel is also covered with a plate of gilt brass embossed with fruit and a lion's mask.

    The wooden ramrod is tipped with antler, and the trigger-guard is indented for the fingers.

    German, about 1600.

    L'Art Ancien 1013.

    Provenance: Frédéric Spitzer.

    See also the powder flask A1288, which may be by the stockmaker of this gun.

    The surface of the barrel is hatched all over for overlay in gold and/or silver. Large areas were formerly silvered or gilt. The barrel is contemporary but associated at a later date (J. F. Hayward, personal communication).
    Exhibited: not identifiable in the catalogue of the Musée Rétrospectif, 1865.
    L'art ancien, IX, 1013 (Spitzer); not illustrated in Hayward, Art of the Gunmaker, I, 1962, pI. 41c, as stated in the 1962 Catalogue, p. 628.
    Provenance: illustrated in an anonymous dealer's photograph among the papers of W. H. Riggs in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, priced at 500fr. (S. Pyhrr, letter of November 1980).