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. 1640
  • Steel, copper alloy and pear-wood, embossed, chiselled and engraved
  • Length: 115.5 cm, overall
    Length: 77.8 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.3 cm, calibre
    Weight: 3.23 kg
  • Inscription: 'I.M'
  • A1098
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock rifle, with an octagonal barrel with brass blade foresight. The backsight has originally possessed a moveable leaf or leaves which are now missing. Rifling of seven grooves.

    Plain, steel lock with internal wheel, the lock-plate being embossed to accommodate it, forming a kind of cover integral with lock-plate. This is pierced at the bottom with a small, heart-shaped opening. Cock lightly chiselled and engraved with monsters and foliage. Release for the button of the pan-cover catch. The lock has a prominent flash-guard behind the pan.

    Pear-wood stock of German fashion with butt-trap, its entire surface carved with hunting scenes in low relief. On the top of the butt are boldly cut the initials I.M. The muzzle end of the stock is engraved antler, and immediately below this there has originally been an antler ramrod pipe which is missing, as is also the tip of the ramrod. Cow-horn heel-plate with steel knob.
    Hair-trigger and trigger-guard indented for the fingers.

    German, possibly by a member of the Maucher family, Schwabisch-Gmünd, third quarter of the 17th century.

    The decoration of the stock is not unlike the work of Johann Michael Maucher of Schwäbisch-Gmünd, though not as fine. Maucher used a monogram of two M's superimposed.

    Grancsay, 'Carved gun stocks by Johann Michael Maucher', Journal of the Walters Art Gallery, 1939, pp. 43-53; Hayward, Art of the Gunmaker, I, 1962, pp. 163 and 290, pI. 41b, and II, 1963, pp. 102-5; Schedelmann, Die grossen Büchsenmacher, 1972, p. 157, gives a long list of the works of Johann Michael Maucher, including A1098.

    The initials IM are N. Støckel, II, p. 774, no. c 7882, where it is suggested that they might be those of Georg (Jorg) I Maucher (1604-80), but could not be those of Johann Michael Maucher his son. N. di Carpegna tentatively described A1098 as an early work of. M. Maucher (Firearms, 1975, p. 104, n. 3).

    Johann Michael Maucher, the son of a stockmaker Georg I Maucher, was born in Schwabisch-Gmünd in 1645. He married Anna Barbara Warserburger in 1670. He is thought to have left his native town about 1688 and to have moved first to Augsburg and by 1693 to Würzburg of which he became a citizen in 1696. He is said to have made a gun of exceptional beauty for the Emperor Leopold I and certainly worked for the Dukes of Pfalz-Zweibrücken. He died in 1701. He had three brothers, also gun-makers, Georg II, Melchior, and Christoph.