The Wallace Collection

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Flint-lock rifle with ramrod
  • Flint-lock rifle with ramrod
  • Johann Christoph Stockmar (1719 - 1747)
  • Saxony, Germany
  • c. 1740 - c. 1747
  • Steel, gold, ivory, walnut and silver, blued, chiselled, inlaid and gilded
  • Length: 103 cm, overall
    Length: 64.5 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.5 cm, calibre
    Weight: 3.345 kg
  • Inscription: 'I. C. Stockmar'
  • A1120
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Flint-lock rifle. The upper half of the barrel is rounded, the underside five-sided. The surface of the barrel has been blued and richly chiselled at the breech with rococo scrollwork and a sportsman in hunting dress. The ground is of matt gold, details of the chiselling being picked out with gold inlay. There is a panel of similar chiselled scrollwork at the muzzle, the free surface between being longitudinally ribbed and grooved. On the side of the barrel, by the vent, is engraved:

    I. C. STOCKMAR

    Backsight and silver foresight. Rifling of eight grooves. Small gold disk at the vent. The screw securing the breech-strap is entirely concealed. Even the end of the barrel around the bore is chiselled.

    The lock-plate is chiselled in low relief with a horseman and a hound pulling down a stag, the cock and steel with scrollwork. The decoration is of bright steel on a gilt ground, the steel-spring and its screw-heads being blued. The head of the pin securing the cock is inlaid with ivory. The lock has an internal bridle but no external one. The detent is placed in a groove in the centre of the tumbler. The hair trigger has been broken off and only the setting lever remains.

    Stock of pale walnut, finely carved with fluted shell ornament at the ends of lock and screw-plates and of the cheek-piece. All the mounts are bordered with a row of buttons of ivory alternating with stars of gilt silver. The stock is profusely inlaid with panels of silver scrollwork and silver wire, on the cheek-piece is a plaque chiselled in relief with a deer in a landscape. All the mounts are of silver, richly chiselled with rococo ornament, the groundwork gilt. On the finial of the heel-plate on top of the butt and on the screw-plate are deer, on the bow of the trigger-guard a sportsman and his dog. The trigger-guard has an extension for the fingers. The trigger has been broken off, and only the hair-trigger level remains. There is a butt-trap with sliding cover. The fore-end is finished with a steel cap chiselled with rusticated scrolls, the steel tip of the ramrod being similarly ornamented. The two ramrod-pipes are probably replacements.

    German (Saxon), about 1750; by J. C. Stockmar.

    Provenance: the Elector of Saxony; Demidoff, Prince of San Donato (sold Paris, April, 1870, lot 659, 1,600 fr.)

    Johann Christoph Stockmar (fl. 1731-50) was a member of a family of engravers working chiefly at Heidersbach, near Suhl, for the Saxon court, who were famous for the high quality of their work. There is a flint-lock fowling piece attributed to J. C. Stockmar in the Victoria and Albert Museum (no. M. 54-1949), although it is not signed (Hayward, Connoisseur, CXXIV, 1949, pp. 122-9; and European Firearms, 1955, no. 77, pl. XXVIII). A comparible garniture at Windsor Castle, is signed by J. G. Weiss, possibly one of Stockmar's followers (see A1119).

    D. Schael, Suhler Feuerwaffen, 1981, pI. 52, illustrates a garniture of exceptional richness delivered to the Saxon Electoral gunroom between
    1741 and 1742, signed I.C.STOCKMAR A SUHL (inv. no. G892). A pair of pistols made for Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia (1698-1740) in the Halwyl Museum, Stockholm (no. A26), is signed Stockmar a Vinariensis, that is Wienermark near Göbel, east of Magdeburg (Blair, Pistols of the World, 1968, p. 99 and figs. 194-5).


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

    Johann Christoph Stockmar's dates are 1719 to 1747 (N. Støckel, II, p. 1225). He was the son of Johann Nikolaus Stockmar, the Saxon Court engraver (active 1719-45), and brother of Johann, Wolf, Heinrich, and possibly Johann Georg.