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
  • Poland or Lithuania
  • 1624
  • Steel, silver, antler and wood, pierced and engraved
  • Length: 119 cm, overall
    Length: 90.8 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.4 cm, calibre
    Weight: 3.975 kg
  • Maker's mark: A stamp inlaid in silver
    Inscription: 'OVID. METAM. ORPHEUS. LIB.4.I.B'
    Inscription: 'ANNO DOMINI 1624'
  • A1095
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock rifle, with an octagonal barrel. At the breech a maker's stamp inlaid in silver. The backsight has a peepsight beneath the notch. Rifling of six wide grooves.

    Lock with external wheel, the bearing-plate pierced and engraved with interlacing ornament, including two horsemen with lances. The cock has a pyrites-guard which is engraved with a monster, and the border pierced with patterns of a horseman and animals. There is similar pierced decoration covering the spring of the cock, and the release button of the pan-cover spring. The lock-plate is engraved with a scene of Orpheus charming the beasts, and two scrolls inscribed, respectively:

    OVID. METAM. ORPHEUS. LIV.4.I.B.

    and

    ANNO DOMINI 1624.

    Stock of German fashion, inlaid with engraved antler, with ornamental scrolls and cartouches containing male busts; that on the cheek-piece of the butt is in Polish, and another on the heel in Turkish costume. On the underside a large antler plaque is engraved with a soldier in the costume of c. 1600. Butt-trap with sliding cover. Wooden ramrod with engraved antler tip. Steel trigger-guard indented for the fingers.

    Possibly Polish or Lithuanian, dated 1624.

    There are two detached locks of similar workmanship in the Victoria and Albert Museum (nos. 534-1869 and M 535-1924), the second of which is signed with an engraver's monogram H.L. Compare also that on a wheel-lock rifle (ibid. no. 802-1877); a detached wheel-lock, in the Musée de l' Armée, no. M 1996; and a wheel-lock rifle at Emden (Potier, no. 1129; Führer, no. 640).
    There was a very similar lock in the collection of the late M. Charles Buttin (cat. 1933, no. 465), dated on the scroll 1621.

    Compare the lock of a rifle in the Royal Armouries, no. XII.1688.

    Hoff, 'En polsk-litavisk hjullåstype', Livrustkammaren, IX, pp. 205-32.

    A. Hoff (loc. cit.) discussed a large group of closely related firearms which he believed had Polish or Lithuanian connections. A comparable lock in possession of Prince Esterhazy is inscribed 'CORONA 1632' (Szendrei, 1896, no. 2790, illus.). A rifle dated 1637, very like no. A1095, is in Launceston Museum, Cornwall (Carpenter, J.A.A.S., V, pp. 328-9, pls. LXXXV-LXXXVII). A comparable spanner from the Scheremetew gunroom, in the Hermitage Museum, Leningrad, is dated 1640 (Z.O. no. 433).

    The mark on the barrel of no. A1095 is not in N. Støckel.