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. 1620
    19th century (decoration of the lock and barrel)
  • Steel, gold, silver, pear-wood, antler and wood, chiselled, gilded, overlaid and engraved
  • Length: 126.2 cm, overall
    Length: 97.2 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.7 cm, calibre
    Weight: 5.67 kg
  • A1096
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock gun, with an octagonal barrel chiselled for its entire length with an intricate pattern of garlands of fruit, gilt and relieved with silver piqué dots. The design is broken at intervals by oval panels containing on the top, full-length figures in classical dress, and on the planes on either side, conventional terminal grotesques. The panels are accompanied by minute arabesque ornament overlaid in gold. The chiselled decoration is all on a small scale in low relief. It is gilt, on a darkened ground.

    Lock with external wheel enclosed in a steel case chiselled with winged female terminal figures. The upper jaw of the cock, which has a looped cocking-spur decorated with a female herm gilt, is chiselled to represent a monster's head; to its lower edge is pivoted a satyr's head chiselled in high relief (possibly a modern addition). The lock-plate is overlaid en suite with the barrel with gold arabesques enclosing panels containing in low relief classical figures and grotesques. The release button of the pan-cover catch is missing.

    Stock of pear-wood of German fashion, inlaid with hunting scenes, human figures, monkeys, grotesques, bunches of fruit and scrolls, all in engraved antler. The antler heel-plate is engraved with a figure of Cupid and on the near-side opposite the lock is a musician. The sliding cover of the butt-trap is without the usual external catch. Wooden ramrod with engraved antler tip. The trigger-guard of gilt steel is indented for the fingers.

    German (decoration of lock and barrel Italian in character), about 1620.

    L'Art Ancien, IV, 564, 565, 566; Musée Rétrospectif, 1865.

    Provenance: Frédéric Spitzer.

    Exhibited: although Spitzer is credited in the captions in L'art ancien with the ownership of this gun, it cannot be identified among the pieces he exhibited at the Musée Rétrospectif, 1865.

    Peterson, Encyclopaedia of firearms, 1964, illus. on p. 351; Diefenthal, 'Typical firearm forgeries . . .', American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin, 28, 1973, fig. 11; Blair, Waddesdon catalogue, 1974, p. 297.

    The decoration of both the lock and the barrel are 19th-century. C. Blair (loc. cit.) identified the maker of the stock with an anonymous craftsman whom he styled 'Spitzer Stocker No. I'.