The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Pommel
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy
  • c. 1570
  • Ivory, engraved
  • Diameter: 6.98 cm
    Weight: 0.235 kg
  • Inscription: 'GED IVD CAP VI' Gideon, Judges, chapter VI, vv. 11 and 37
  • A1190
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Pommel of a wheel-lock pistol, made of ivory, of flattened spherical form, delicately engraved round the circumference with four oval panels representing the angel of the Lord appearing to Gideon under the oak in Ophrah, Gideon wringing the dew from the fleece, and other scenes form the sixth chapter of the Book of Judges. Inscribed between the panels:

    (Gideon, Judges, chapter VI, vv. 11 and 37)

    The flattened base is engraved with the arms of a prelate of the Giustiniani family of Genoa (a castle, and an eagle on a chief), impaled by arms of patronage (bendy sinister), possibly that of Ghislieri, but reversed, surmounted by a cardinal's hat. This probably denotes Vincenzo Giustiniani (1519-82), created cardinal by Pope Pius V (Ghislieri) in 1570. The arms also occur separately on oval shields introduced into the band of foliage surrounding the central panel, the first coat being there represented with three bends sinister only.

    Italian, about 1570.

    The Ghislieri arms are argent, three bends gules, and so would appear to have been reversed in this case: the presence of a cross above the arms differentiates the hat as that of a cardinal and not of a protonotary.
    The undecorated part of the pommel at the point where it joins the stock is too narrow ever to have been intended for its present purpose.