The Wallace Collection

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Flint-lock gun with ramrod
  • Flint-lock gun with ramrod
  • Possibly Johann Christoph Stockmar (1719 - 1747)
  • Saxony, Germany
  • c. 1730 -1750
  • Steel, silver, gold, walnut and wood, blued, chiselled, overlaid, carved, chased and gilded
  • Length: 137.5 cm, overall
    Length: 99.7 cm, barrel
    Weight: 1.6 kg, calibre
    Weight: 2.98 kg
  • Maker's mark
    Inscription: 'A E' Gold cypher, probably that of Frederick Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland.
  • A1119
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Flint-lock gun, with a barrel of round section, the surface deeply blued and decorated at the breech and muzzle with panels of chiselled ornament. That at the breech has in the centre a cartouche containing deer, the whole surrounded by an elaborate design of rococo scrolls and foliage. At the muzzle is foliated scrollwork only. In each case the chiselling is blued and the ground of matt gold. Between the two panels of ornament runs a flattened top rib. Silver foresight. The vent is faced with a gold disk. The screw securing the breech-strap is introduced beneath the trigger-plate and consequently completely concealed. On the underside is stamped a maker's mark.

    The flintlock mechanism has a stop both on the cock and on the tumbler. There is a detent set in a groove in the face of the tumbler. There is no bridle for the pan-cover. The lock-plate chiselled in low relief with a landscape in which are the figures of a sportsman and a stag, the cock with rococo scrollwork, the steel with a mask of Pan. The chiselling is bright, and on the lock-plate the effect is heightened with gold inlay. Only the screw-heads and steel-spring being blued. The ground throughout is of matt gold.

    Stock of walnut, carved with shell ornament at the ends of the lock and screw-plate and at the comb of the butt. It is inlaid with elaborate panels of silver gilt chased with rococo scrolls and foliage, and rows of buttons of ivory alternating with small studs of gold with quatrefoil heads. Steel mounts finely chiselled and gilt, the butt-plate is covered with rich rococo scrollwork in the midst of which is an applied gold shield bearing the arms of Saxony. The finial on top of the butt is chiselled with a sportsman resting on a bank. The screw-plate has a rococo cartouche with a similar composition. The ecutcheon-plate is of silver gilt and bears on an oval shield applied in red gold the cypher A E, probably that of Frederick Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland.

    The trigger-guard is chiselled on the bow with a figure of Diana and on the finial with a female bust among strapwork ornament. The ramrod socket is decorated with scrollwork and foliage. Fore-end cap and ramrod pipes ornamented en suite. The chiselling of the mounts throughout is bright upon a ground of matt gold, certain points being further enriched with gold inlay. Wooden ramrod with steel tip.

    German, possibly Suhl, c. 1730-50.

    Provenance: the Elector of Saxony; Demidoff, Prince of San Donato (sold Paris, April, 1870, lot 658, 1,750 fr.)

    This very fine and rich gun is closely similar to the pistols A1203-4, and also to the rifle, A1120. All of these firearms therefore are probably the work of the same maker. The maker has previously been identified as Johann Christoph Stockmar, court engraver to the Electors of Saxony. However the attribution to Stockmar is by no means certain since other craftsmen, or perhaps combinations of craftsmen, were working in this style, for instance, Johann Georg Weiss of Goldlauter über Suhl who signed a garniture at Windsor Castle (1904 cat., nos. 405, 423, 485 and 486).

    The initials on the escutcheon are in script under a crown and are those of either Ernst-Augustus I or II of Saxe-Weimar, who died in 1748 and 1758 respectively (E. Henniger, letter of 6 September 1963).

    Hayward, Art of the Gunmaker, II, 1963, pp. 236-9 and 343, pI. 73a.

    Provenance: Dukes of Saxe-Weimar.

    The mark on the barrel is probably the letters F G (N. Støckel, I, p. 476, no. a 2480). ‘