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
  • Nuremberg, Germany
  • c. 1630
  • Steel, gold, snake-wood, antler and copper alloy, engraved, blued and gilded
  • Length: 57.7 cm, overall
    Length: 40 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.7 cm, calibre
    Weight: 1.37 kg
  • Stamp: Nuremberg guild mark
    Maker's mark: Topped by the letter 'N'
  • A1157
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock pistol, one of a pair with A1158, the octagonal barrel with blued surface decorated with engraved foliage, the lines gilt. Near the breech is stamped the Nuremberg guild mark.

    Lock with external wheel held in place by a small bearing hook at the bottom with two arms dividing in the form of a cupid's bow. The cock and lock-plate are blued, the latter is lightly engraved with a bird amid foliage, and the engraved lines gilt. The lock-plate has bevelled edges, and follows the shape of the wheel. On the inner side is stamped a maker's mark.

    Stock of snake-wood, shaped to the lock on the underside, and inlaid with narrow strips of antler engraved with running foliage. At the base of the barrel are two small plaques engraved with demi-figures in 17th-century costume. The ramrod pipes are strengthened with bands of engraved brass. Butt-cap of gilt brass, cast in relief with a lion's mask and trophies, with a border showing reclining human figures and deer in a landscape of flowers and foliage.
    The trigger works against a light, curved spring, which is secured to the inside of the trigger-guard. By removing a small, steel pin which projects through the stock above the lock-plate, the trigger can be entirely withdrawn from the stock. Ramrod of snake-wood with steel tip.

    The pair to this pistol, A1158, is exactly similar. The pointed finial of the trigger-guard is missing.

    German (Nuremberg), about 1630.

    A very similar pistol was in the Kuppelmayr sale, Munich, 1895, lot 547; another was in the Brett Collection; the Metropolitan Museum, New York, has a pair of comparable pistols (no. 14.25.1401 A and B).

    The marks on the locks are in fact each topped by the letter N, as on the barrels of A1168-9. The butt-caps are cast rather than embossed.
    Hoff, Feuerwaffen, I, 1969, fig. 102. The Kuppelmeyr sale was on the 26-28 March 1895 and the pistol referred to above was illustrated in pI. 19.

    A very similar pair of pistols with the same marks is in the Odescalchi Collection, Rome (inv. nos. 1493-4, Carpegna, Firearms, 1975, no. 48). The lock-maker's mark is N. Støckel, I, p.84, no. a 7093. A. Gaibi attributed this mark to the Brescian gunsmith Claudio Beretta, working at Gardone, in the Val Trompia, about 1580-1640 (Armi antiche, 1966, p.85). However, the same mark occurs alongside the Nuremberg town mark on the lock-plate of yet another pistol very similar to nos. A1157-8, in the Hallwyl Museum, Stockholm (no. A 19).