The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Flint-lock blunderbuss with ramrod
  • Flint-lock blunderbuss with ramrod
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • North Italy
  • c. 1800
  • Watered steel, gold, copper, walnut, silver and wood, inlaid, chiselled and gilded
  • Length: 92 cm, overall
    Length: 56.2 cm, barrel
    Height: 4.7 cm, calibre
    Width: 3.1 cm, calibre
    Weight: 2.608 kg
  • A1125
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Further Reading
  • Flint-lock blunderbuss, with a barrel of watered steel, octagonal at the breech, then round, flaring towards the muzzle to a flattened trumpet shape. Browned surface inlaid with gold at the breech with ornament in the Empire style, with clouds and rays at the end of the octagonal section, and at the muzzle with garlands. Gold-faced vent. The false breech is chiselled in low relief with foliage, bright on a gilt ground.

    Lock of bright steel, finely chiselled with ornament in relief; at the end of the lock-plate is a pair of lovers, in the middle a putto riding a dolphin, on the cock is a terminal figure and acanthus foliage, and on the comb a grotesque mask. The curve of the neck and tail of the cock is filled with tracery pierced to form the letter M. On the upper jaw is chiselled a mermaid, and on the head of the securing-pin a grotesque mask, another mask is on the steel, and the toe of the pan-cover is formed as a dolphin. The entire pan is of copper gilt, the underside chiselled with a mask and ending in a dolphin. The steel-spring is fitted with a wheel and the finial is shaped as a half-moon. There is an external bridle for the pan-cover.

    Folding stock of walnut, carved round the mounts with foliage. Silver mounts chiselled in high relief with grotesque masks and foliage. The screw-plate is pierced and chiselled with a mask supported by a mermaid and merman, and the decoration of the ramrod socket is also pierced. The stock is made in two pieces, hinged behind the trigger-guard and secured by a catch with a release button, which occupies the place of a scutcheon-plate. The fore-end finishes some 3 inches short of the muzzle. A steel belt-hook is attached to the screw-plate. The belt-hook is fitted with a loose-ring so that the weapon can be hung from the swivel of a carbine belt. Wooden ramrod with turned steel tip and worm.

    North Italian, about 1800.

    Probably Brescian work under French influence, possibly produced during the French occupation of Northern Italy (1801-14); the lock possibly Tuscan.

    Compare the locks on A1197-8.