The Wallace Collection

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Flint-lock pistol with ramrod
  • Flint-lock pistol with ramrod
  • Erttel (active between: c. 1670 - c. 1750)
  • Dresden, Germany
  • c. 1730
  • Steel, walnut wood, silver, gold and mahogany, chiselled, engraved and gilded
  • Length: 44.3 cm, overall
    Length: 26.9 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.6 cm, calibre
    Weight: 1.24 kg
  • Inscription: 'ERTTEL A DRESDE'
    Inscription: 'ERTTEL . A . DRESDA'
  • A1201
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Flint-lock pistol, a pair with A1202. The barrel of round section, decorated at the breech with a panel containing a figure of Mars; above are winged monsters, garlands and captives chiselled in low relief on a gilt ground. Towards the muzzle is a flattened rib inscribed:

    ERTTEL A DRESDE

    Double vents. The barrels have been shortened for use at a later date in the 18th century. As originally made they were long holster pistols.
    Lock. The cock is chiselled with a figure of Victory, and on the comb a grotesque mask. On the steel is a representation of the Rape of Ganymede above a mask. The lock-plate is decorated with engraving only, consisting of allegorical figures and trophies. By the base of the pan is engraved the maker's name:

    ERTTEL . A . DRESDA (sic)

    Stock of walnut, carved in low relief at the fore-end with scrolled foliage and inlaid with silver wire and small, silver plaques shaped and engraved as birds and grotesque figures. One of these between the scutcheon-plate and the butt takes the form of a symbolical female figure between shields bearing the arms of Saxony. The steel mounts are ornamented with chiselling in low relief on a gilt ground. In the centre of the butt-cap is a grotesque mask, and on the sides satyrs, masks and foliated scrollwork. The openwork screw-plate is chiselled and pierced with a warrior and a captive among trophies. On the escutcheon-plate is a classical head in profile surrounded by trophied weapons with captives below. The trigger-guard is chiselled with a mask and scrollwork finial, and the ramrod pipes have turned mouldings. Horn fore-end cap. The ramrod of mahogany has a tip of walnut capped with steel, and at the opposite end a steel worm.

    German (Saxon), about 1730.

    L' Art Ancien, 26; Musée Rétrospectif, 1865.

    Provenance: Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    Erttel, Ertel or Oertel was the name of a family of Saxon gunsmiths in the latter part of the 17th and first half of the 18th century. Andreas Erttel of Bleusingen-bei-Eger was admitted in 1692 a burgher of Dresden. Johann Andreas Erttel (1689-1764) was on the staff of the electoral armoury at Dresden. Johann Georg Erttel (1700-1763) gunsmith and citizen of Dresden, moved to Amsterdam where he was admitted a citizen and member of the guild in 1753. Numerous guns and pistols with their names are at Dresden and elsewhere. There is a pair of flint-lock guns with locks signed: Erttel a Dresde, and barrels signed and dated: Johann Fischer in Meresberg, 1718, at Dresden (nos. 913, 914); a pair of flint-lock pistols with locks signed: Ertel a Dresde, is at Schwarzburg (nos. 1302-3). Pichler records a gunmaker at Lietzen, in 1571, named Michael Ertl (cf. lock of no. A1112).

    The lock has no external bridle. The side-screws fit into sleeves. A rim on the underside of the pan-cover fits into a groove all round the edge of the pan to form a water-tight closure.

    The arms on the small of the butt include those of the Arch-Marshalship of the Empire.

    The fore-ends have been shortened.

    Kennard, French pistols and sporting guns, 1972, p. 30.

    Exhibited: Musée Rétrospectif, 1865, no. 1988 (Nieuwerkerke).

    For the Ertell family see N. Støckel, I, pp. 345-6. The Johann Georg Ertell who worked in Amsterdam and was still alive in 1791 was apparently not the man of the same name who worked in Dresden.