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
  • Daniel Sadeler
  • Munich, Germany
  • c. 1610
  • Steel, gold, ebony, bone or ivory and snake-wood, blued, chiselled and gilded
  • Length: 68.5 cm, overall
    Length: 45.6 cm, barrel
    Width: 12 cm, calibre
    Weight: 1.61 kg
  • A1156
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock pistol, one of a pair with A1155. The barrel is of round section, chiselled with scale ornament and with three reserves of arabesque decoration in low relief on a gilt ground. The panel at the breech contains a figure of Minerva, that in the centre Neptune, and that at the muzzle Ceres. The figures stand under canopies surrounded by foliage, fruit and trophies. The chiselled decoration is everywhere blued, the ground in the panels gilt, scale-work and other details being further enriched with gold piqué dots.

    Lock. External wheel with flat steel case chiselled with a rich Renaissance design of dolphins, winged terminal figures and cornucopias, blued on a gilt ground like the barrel. Lock-plate chiselled with nymphs and Tritons and scrolls en suite. The lower part of the arm of the cock is baluster in form; the flat surface of the head and jaws is chiselled in low relief as a dragon's head; slender cocking spur.

    Stock of ebony, richly inlaid with ornament in bone of ivory. The decoration of the fore-end consists of strapwork enclosing small panels in which are pairs of small figures in contemporary costume. On the left side, by the lock-screws the panels are larger and enclose the figures of a lady and gentleman mounted, and of two huntsman on foot and a dog pursuing an ibex or wild goat. Beneath the mounted figure of the lady is a rectangular cartouche, inlaid with yellow material, possibly amber or tortoiseshell, which was probably intended for an inscription. On the underside and at the grip the pattern is freer, the strapwork finer and in parts replaced by floral scrolls. Interspersed are small figures of soldiers and courtiers, and by the butt-cap, hounds and huntsmen. Free spaces are filled with bunches of fruit or trophies. The design in this part of the stock bears distinct affinities with the chiselled decoration of the steel work. The steel butt-cap is chiselled like the lock-plate and barrel with a trophy of arms and fruit within a scale pattern border, blued and gilt, and the steel ramrod pipes are decorated with foliage en suite. Fore-end cap formed of two small separate plates chiselled with scrollwork, blued and gilt. Trigger-guard blued and chiselled with similar ornament on a gilt ground. Snake-wood ramrod with moulded steel tip formerly gilt.

    A1156 differs from its companion in that the panels on the barrel contain figures of Bacchus or Pomona, Diana and Mercury. The decoration of the lock is essentially similar to A1155, but this has the addition of a figure of Fortune (?).

    The stock decoration shows minor differences as regards the position of the human figures. The fore-end cap is made in one piece instead of two separate plates.

    By Daniel Sadeler of Munich, about 1610.

    H. Stöcklein, Meister des Eisenschnittes, p. 68 (DS 30, 31); J. F. Hayward, Apollo, XLIV, 1946, p. 119-20, fig. XI

    The chiselled decoration of these beautiful pistols is typical of the work of Daniel Sadeler of Munich; for a note on this family, see A1090. The decoration of the lock is repeated as regards certain details on A1154.

    J. F. Hayward, in a lecture to the Arms and Armour Society given in the Tower of London on 3 June 1982, described the stocks of these pistols as 19th-century on the grounds of their shape and the style of their decoration. He attributed them to the Spitzer Workshop.