The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Wheel-lock rifle with two ramrods
  • Wheel-lock rifle with two ramrods
  • Jean Conrad Tornier , (stock)
  • Germany
  • 1645
  • Steel, copper alloy, walnut, antler, wood and engraved
  • Length: 138.4 cm, overall
    Length: 110.5 cm, barrel
    Width: 0.55 cm, calibre
    Weight: 3.03 kg
  • Maker's mark
  • A1099
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock rifle, with a long, slender, octagonal barrel, slightly engraved with scrollwork at breech and muzzle. Brass fore- and backsights. A sighting groove runs along the top facet from the breech-strap to a point one-and-a-half inches in front of the backsight. At the end of this groove a maker's stamp is inlaid in brass, and beyond it is engraved the date 1645. Exceptionally small bore with multiple grooved rifling.

    Lock with external wheel secured by a bearing-plate formed of a ring and two recurved arms. The lock-plate is engraved in places with bunches of fruit and foliage and a bird on a twig.

    Stock with butt of German fashion of Italian walnut, shaped to the lock and inlaid in engraved antler with scenes of the chase among flowers and foliage, separated by intervals which are filled with ornament inlaid in brass wire. There is a thumb-notch on the upper portion of the butt. There are two ramrods, one of wood tipped with antler and furnished at the opposite end with a steel ferrule threaded internally, which serves as a cleaning rod, the other, which is of brass, is the ramrod proper and terminates in a worm. Butt-trap with sliding cover entirely covered with an antler plaque engraved with a stag hunt. The butt-trap contains a steel worm intended for use with the cleaning rod and a small steel powder measure. Hair-trigger, and steel trigger-guard indented for the fingers.

    Stock by J.C. Tornier of Massevaux (Alsace), dated 1645.

    Hayward, Art of the Gunmaker, I, 1962, pp. 141-2 and 291, pI. 41c; Schedelmann, Die grossen Büchsenmacher, 1972, pp. 110-11, with a list of the works of Tornier; De Beaumont Catalogue, pl. 12; Burlington Magazine, LXXVII (October, 1944), p. 127; H. Schedelmann, Journal of the Arms and Armour Society, II (December, 1958), pl. LXXI.

    Provenance: Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    A similar mark is found in the barrel of a gun dated 165-, formerly in the Estruch Collection (no. 1126), now in the Musée de l'Armee, Paris (no. M.Po.758). The final digit of the date is not legible.

    The ornament of the stock, both in the style of the engraved antler and the use of brass wire, closely resembles that on the coffer A1345, which is signed by Jean Conrad Tornier of Massevaux, and may reasonably be ascribed to him. Other stocks recently identified by Mr. A. N. Kennard as his work were in the Bourgeois sale, Cologne, 1904, lot 1006, and Hearst Collection, and now in the Royal Armouries, inv. no. XII.1549 (dated on the barrel 1646), to which can be added another wheel-lock rifle, also dated 1646, in the Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer at Vienna (D 144), described by Schedelmann, op. cit. above.

    The work of this craftsman has recently attracted imitators (Schedelmann, Waffen- und Kostümkunde, 1974, p. 141). Another example is in the Hermitage Museum, Leningrad (Z.O. no. 5390). Hayward (loc. cit.) pointed out that the inlay on the butt of A1099 is based on an engraving by Michel Ie Blon (1587-1656).

    The mark on the barrel is N. Støckel, III, p. 1338, no. a 4557, where it is described as German about 1650.