The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snaphaunce pistol with ramrod
  • Snaphaunce pistol with ramrod
  • Antonio Venazolo (active between: c. 1650 - 1699) , (lock)
  • Brescia, Italy
  • c. 1650 - c. 1660
  • Steel, walnut and wood, engraved and chiselled
  • Length: 56.3 cm, overall
    Length: 38.4 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.4 cm, calibre
    Weight: 0.91 kg
  • Inscription: 'ANTONIO VENAZOLO'
  • A1191
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Snaphaunce pistol, a pair with A1192, the barrel octagonal at the breech then polygonal. At the junction of the breech-strap is a low backsight. The foresight is missing.

    Lock. The cock and steel are engraved and chiselled in low relief with foliage, the cock is flat in section and is pierced at the neck in continuation of the engraved decoration. The lock-plate is plain, except at the rear end, and on the lower chamfered edge is inscribed:


    The tumbler possesses a small pivoted lever or detent (such as is usually found on locks of a far later date).

    Stock of walnut decorated with steel inlays, pierced and engraved with intricate foliage, lying flush with the surface. Steel butt-cap chiselled with floral scrolls. Trigger-guard chiselled and pierced, and ramrod pipes pierced and engraved en suite. Wooden ramrod, the steel tip chiselled as a flower. A small ferrule is missing from the opposite end.

    Italian (Brescian), about 1650-60.

    L' Art Ancien, III, 368; Musée Rétrospectif, 1865.

    Provenance: Frédéric Spitzer.

    Antonio Venazolo, or Venasolo, worked at Brescia in the second half of the 17th century. He signed the engraved flint-locks of a pair of pistols with barrels by Antonio Francino in the Real Armería at Madrid (K 220-21): Antonio Venasolo in Brescia.

    F. Spitzer is given as the owner in the caption of L' art ancien, but A1191-2 are not identifiable in the Musée Rétrospectif, 1865.

    Gaibi, Armi da fuoco 1962, p. 124 and pl. 121c; Hoff, Feuerwaffen, 1969,1, fig. 171; Gaibi, Armi da fuoco, 1978, fig. 328; Blair, Pollard's History of Firearms, 1983, p. 79.

    A. Gaibi (loc. cit., 1962) gave the date of birth of Antonio Venezolo as 1622. In 1978 he gave as an alternative form of his name, Venazzoni. He was still alive in 1662 (op. cit., 1978, p. 260).

    The signed pistol in Madrid is illustrated in Boccia, Rossi & Morin, 1980, pI. 323.