The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Wheel-lock pistol with ramrod
  • Wheel-lock pistol with ramrod
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1570
  • Steel, gold, walnut, antler and wood, gilded, chiselled and blued
  • Length: 46.5 cm, overall
    Length: 26.4 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.4 cm, calibre
    Weight: 1.66 kg
  • A1138
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock pistol, the barrel octagonal at the breech, round in the forward part and flaring at the muzzle. A very long breech-strap reaches nearly to the butt. The surface is richly decorated with a forma design of foliage, arabesques, masks and terminal figures incrusted in gold and lightly chiselled, the ground blued.

    Lock with external wheel. The gold decoration is en suite with that of the barrel, and is almost certainly of 19th-century date. There is a safety-catch and a release button for the pan-cover catch.

    Stock of walnut with flattened spherical butt, closely inlaid with foliage and grotesques of engraved antler. On the near-side are two sea-monsters. A band of antler, engraved with a fox hunt, encircles the neck of the butt. A steel belt-hook with traces of gilding is fixed to the left side.

    Wooden ramrod with an antler tip.

    German, about 1570.

    Lièvre. Collections célèbres, 1866, pl. 46; Musées et Collections, 2nd Series; Musée Graphique, pl. II; De Beaumont Catalogue, pl. 12.

    Provenance: Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    The lock has a decoratively pierced bridle. The cock is of North Italian type.

    Exhibited: Musée Rétrospectif, 1865, no. 1986 (Nieuwerkerke).
    L'art ancien, 1, no. 26 (Nieuwerkerke); Lièvre, Musées et collections, pI. 20, with the spanner no. A1326; Diefenthal, 'Typical firearms forgeries…', American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin, 28, 1973, fig. 14. J. F. Hayward examined this gun on a number of occasions and concluded that the decoration of both lock and barrel were 19th-century. The quality of the inlay on the stock is in any case quite inconsistent with the decoration of the metal parts in gold.