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
  • Augsburg, Germany
  • c. 1590
  • Steel, gold, walnut and antler, gilded, chiselled, blued, engraved and embossed
  • Length: 49.5 cm, overall
    Length: 28.1 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.4 cm, calibre
    Weight: 1.67 kg
  • Stamp: The mark of Augsburg
    Maker's mark
    Maker's mark: fleur-de-lys
  • A1146
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock pistol, the barrel octagonal at the breech, chiselled with bands of acanthus ornament at the breech, muzzle and midway between; the decorated portions gilt, the rest formerly blued. Near the breech are stamped the mark of Augsburg and a maker's mark.

    Lock with external wheel in a pierced case. Safety-catch and release button for the pan-cover catch. The safety-catch and wheel-case are gilt. Cock roughly engraved with a monster's head may not be the original. On the lock-plate is stamped a maker's mark of a fleur-de-lys.

    Stock of walnut, inlaid with engraved antler in a flowing pattern of conventional flowers. Large, spherical butt enhanced with a band and straps of gilt copper embossed with Renaissance ornament, and at the end is a cap of the same material embossed with a lion's mask and gilt. The barrel is secured to the stock at the muzzle by means of a screw instead of the more usual peg.

    Wooden ramrod, the thicker end having a steel ferrule threaded internally, the opposite end being tipped with antler. Trigger-guard and trigger gilt.

    German (Augsburg), about 1590.

    A mark resembling that on the barrel above is found on the barrel of a flint-lock revolving gun, dated 1632, in the Porte de Hal at Brussels, IX, 71; also on the barrels of two wheel-lock pistols in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Dresden, nos. 189, 190, where it is attributed by Ehrenthal to one of the Herold family of Dresden, but in view of the Augsburg mark on A1146, this ascription must be accepted with reserve.

    The two masks engraved on the antler plaques inlaid on either side of the barrel-tang are very similar to those on A1148 and A1149.

    The barrel-maker's mark resembles N. Støckel, I, p. 563, no. a 2875 and a 2876, but in a differently shaped compartment. These are ascribed to Augsburg about 1590 to 1634. A comparable mark in a slightly differently shaped punch, Støckel, no. a 2897, occurs on the barrel of a wheel-lock rifle dated 1613 in the Tøjhusmuseum, Copenhagen (cat., no. B.I 76; A. Orloff, letter of 13 July 1983). The lock-maker's mark is not particularly like any of the fleur-de-lys marks in N. Støckel.