The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Wheel-lock rifle with ramrod
  • Wheel-lock rifle with ramrod
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1600
  • Steel, gold, walnut, antler and wood, chiselled, gilded, overlaid and engraved
  • Length: 93 cm, overall
    Length: 70.2 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.2 cm, calibre
    Weight: 1.58 kg
  • Maker's mark
  • A1082
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Light wheel-lock rifle, the barrel decorated for its entire length with foliated ornament chiselled in low relief on a gilt ground, broken at intervals by four upright panels containing symbolical female figures and with the background filled with arabesques in gold overlaid. The parts not gilt were originally blued. In front of the lock there is a cock's head in a rectangular frame. At the breech is stamped a maker's mark. There is a foresight, but no backsight. Rifling of eight grooves.

    Lock with exterior wheel covered by a steel case. Both wheel-case and lock-plate are etched with foliage, blued upon a stippled gilt ground. Cock similarly decorated, the jaws representing a scaled monster's head, and extended in a cocking spur.

    Stock of Italian walnut, with short, combed butt, inlaid with engraved antler in a well-executed design of scrollwork and tendrils. On the near side is a circular cartouche containing a horse, and on either side of the butt a bear playing the flute. At the ramrod socket an antler plaque is engraved with a half-length male figure in contemporary costume. Wooden ramrod with antler tip. The trigger-guard is decorated with foliage and terminates in a chiselled lion's head.

    German, about 1600.

    De Beaumont Catalogue, pl. 12.

    Provenance: Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    There are three guns in the Musée de l' Armée (M 52, M 87, M 107) which have similarly decorated barrels, and compare also no. A1144 below. A gun and a pair of pistols with similar barrels were among the objects from the armoury of Prince Liechtenstein, sold by the American Art Association, New York, 1926, lots 213, 238. These pistols bore a mark somewhat similar to that of A1082. A rifle formerly in the W. R. Hearst Collection had similar chiselling on the barrel.

    Similar marks are on the lock of a wheel-lock gun at Schwarzburg, no. 902, and on the lock of a match-lock wall-gun in the Royal Armouries, XI. 14.
    There are two wheel-lock guns at Madrid (Martìnez, nos. 1984 and 1988) with similar stocks.

    The decoration of both lock and barrel is later, probably 19th century. The foliage on the lock-plate is lightly chiselled rather than etched. The barrel mark resembles Støckel no. b2792, on an example dated 1619 at Veste Coburg, tentatively ascribed to Zeila. N. Støckel, I, p. 260, however, ascribes it tentatively to Wasungen, Saxony, about 1580-1600.

    For a note on this subject see under nos. A1078 and A1144.