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
  • France
  • c. 1620
  • Steel, walnut, wood, horn and engraved
  • Length: 132 cm, overall
    Length: 99.1 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.7 cm, calibre
    Weight: 2.74 kg
  • Maker's mark
    Stamp: '4'
    Stamp: 'VX'
  • A1111
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock gun, with a barrel of round section, the surface divided longitudinally by three fine ridges, that in the centre continuing to the muzzle, those on either side ending 14 inches from the breech. Back and foresights. At the breech is stamped a maker's mark.

    Lock of French type, with external wheel. Release button for pan-cover catch. Lock-plate with bevelled edges. There is slight engraving on the upper jaw of the cock.

    Walnut stock with comb, gracefully proportioned. At the base of the fore-end is stamped the number 4, and under the lock-plate is VX. Plain steel mounts. The trigger is secured by a pin, the head of which protrudes from the stock above the lock-plate to facilitate removal.

    Wooden ramrod with horn tip and steel ferrule threaded to take a cleaning implement.

    French, about 1620.

    This gun was originally in the possession of the Royal House of France, the number on the stock being that under which it appears in the Inventaire du Mobilier de la Couronne of Louis XIV. The entry reads: 'Quarante-neuf arquebuses touttes simples, de 4 pieds de long ou environ.' Three other guns of the set, bearing the number 4, are in the Musée de l' Armée, nos. M 100, M 104, M 132. Another of these French royal guns, bearing the number 5, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (M 603-1864), and is very similar to A1111, but of slightly smaller proportions. Another of the no. 5 set is in the Musée de l' Armée (no. M 102). This bears the same barrel mark as A1111.
    Kennard, French pistols and sporting guns, 1972, p. 19.

    The mark on the barrel is N. Støckel, I, p. 568, no. a 4580, described as French about 1615-20. Another of the guns numbered 4 in the French Royal Inventory is in the Odescalchi collection, Rome (inv. no. 1523; Carpegna, Firearms, 1975, no. 16, with a list of other examples). The Musée de l' Armée, Paris, has three additional guns with this Royal Inventory number, from the Pauilhac collection (nos. M.Po.2840, 2841 and 2842; J.-P. Reverseau letter of 23 May 1984). Another is in the Musée Municipal de Chartres (inv. no. 2807; Duchartre, 1955, fig. 118).