The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Snaphaunce pistol with ramrod
  • Snaphaunce pistol with ramrod
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy, possibly Brescia
  • c. 1660
  • Steel and walnut wood, chiselled, pierced and engraved
  • Length: 53.5 cm, overall
    Length: 37.8 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.4 cm, calibre
    Weight: 1.04 kg
  • A1193
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Snaphaunce pistol, a pair with A1194, the barrel fluted at the breech, the rest of its length polygonal, the breech and muzzle finished with narrow mouldings.

    Lock. The cock is ring-necked, the comb chiselled and pierced with a design of scrolls and monsters, the flat surface of the neck engraved with foliage. The steel is similarly pierced and engraved. A stop-plate or buffer, affixed to the lock-plate to check the fall of the cock, is engraved and pierced en suite. The lock-plate has no decoration. The mechanism has a sear and a tumbler of flint-lock type, but lacks a half-cock notch.

    Stock of walnut with pierced steel inlays in the form of foliated scrollwork. Fluted steel butt-cap. The rear lock-screw also serves to secure a belt hook on the left side. Fluted trigger-guard with acorn finial. Steel fore-end cap roughly engraved. Ramrod pipes pierced with foliage. Ramrod with moulded tip and steel toothed ferrule.

    Italian (possibly Brescian), about 1660.

    The tumbler operates a long, slender bar which slides to open the pan. An unusual U-shaped sear-spring is mounted above the sear, encircles it, and acts on its underside.

    Gaibi, Armi da fuoco, 1962, p. 123 and pI. 121A; and Armi da fuoco, 1978, fig. 326; Blair, Pollard's History of Firearms, 1983, pI. 72.

    According to N. di Carpegna, this form of sear-spring is not recorded in any firearm known with certainty to have been made in Brescia (letter of 19 August 1970).