The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Wheel-lock pistol
  • Wheel-lock pistol
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Lock- Nuremberg, Germany; barrel, possibly Netherlands
  • c. 1610 - c. 1620 (lock)
    c. 1660 (barrel)
  • Steel, walnut wood, gold, copper alloy, blued and embossed
  • Length: 64.5 cm, overall
    Length: 44.2 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.4 cm, calibre
    Weight: 1.275 kg
  • Maker's mark
    Maker's mark
    Stamp: Guild mark of Nuremberg
  • A1161
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock pistol, one of a pair with A1162, the barrel octagonal at the breech, then for a short distance polygonal, the rest of round section. Surface originally blued. On the underside at the breech is stamped a maker's mark.

    Lock with external wheel, held in position at the bottom by a hook and at the top by a projection of the pan, pierced with a simple floral design. The mechanism includes an automatic safety-catch, actuated by a long slender lever, which is pivoted to the top of the bridle. One end engages with the sear, the other bears against a cam which forms part of the pin, on which the cock is pivoted, and to which it is kept in contact by an S-shaped spring also mounted on the bridle. When the lock is spanned and the cock pushed back, the lever engages with the trigger arm of the sear and prevents any movement. When the cock is brought over, the cam moves the lever, which rises and allows the trigger to act. The lock-plate has bevelled edges and is curved to the shape of the wheel. On the inner side of the lock-plate are stamped a maker's mark and the guild mark of Nuremberg.

    Stock of walnut with gilt brass mounts, shaped to the lock on the underside. Butt-cap embossed with a figure of Minerva and a border of hounds and lions in relief. Trigger-guard pierced á jour with a running floral pattern. Fore-end cap, ramrod tip and single ramrod pipe pierced with similar decoration. The trigger is held in position by a pin, the end of which projects from the stock on the right side to facilitate removal.

    A1162 only differs from its companion in that the butt-cap bears a figure of Mars.

    Lock, German (Nuremberg), about 1910-20; barrel, Dutch (?), about 1660.

    The same marks are found on the locks and barrels, respectively, of a pair of pistols in the German Historical Museum at Berlin. The barrel-mark is found on two pairs of pistols in the Rüstkammer at Emden (Potier, nos. 1321-24), and the lock mark on a combined pistol and mace at Stockholm, dated 1603, ex-Willbrand Collection.

    Compare the marks on the Dutch pistols, nos. A1173-4, 1231-2 below.
    The stock has no side-plate. The stock and fore-stock have had a lug and pin link under the fore-end cap, perhaps suggesting that the barrels have been shortened.

    Hoff, Feuerwaffen, I, 1969, fig. 102.
    The barrel-maker's mark resembles Støckel, no. a 2259-2 which Kist, Puype and van der Sloot suggests is possibly a Maestricht mark (1974, p. 162, diag. 6, mark K).

    The lock-maker's mark is a variant of N. Støckel, 11, p. 1418, no. b3171, ascribed to Nuremberg about 1600. Butt-caps with similar edges occur on a pair of pistols ascribed to Dresden in the Hermitage Museum, Leningrad, but the ends are formed as lions' masks (Z.O. nos. 6608 and 6609; Tarassuk, 1971, nos. 115 and 116).