The Wallace Collection

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Flint-lock pistol with ramrod and tompion
  • Flint-lock pistol with ramrod and tompion
  • Attributed to Johann Christoph Stockmar (1719 - 1747)
  • Saxony, Germany
  • c. 1750
  • Steel, gold, silver, velvet, copper, walnut wood and ivory, blued, gilded, chiselled and stained
  • Length: 43.2 cm, overall
    Length: 25.7 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.4 cm, calibre
    Weight: 0.87 kg
  • Cipher: Interlaced AE
    Cipher: Interlaced A E D
  • A1203
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Flint-lock pistol, a pair with A1204. The barrel is of round section, blued and gilt. At the breech it is chiselled with ornament in low relief, including a portrait bust of Augustus II, King of Saxony, within a laurel wreath, surmounted by a crown inlaid in gold, and two oval shields also in gold bearing the interlaced cipher A E and the arms of Saxony. The ground is matt gold. A raised rib runs towards the muzzle chiselled with foliage and carrying at the end a silver foresight. At the muzzle is a reserve of chiselled rococo scrollwork on a gold ground. The vent is faced with a gold disk. Inserted in the barrel is a tompion covered with purple velvet terminated by a gilt copper knob.

    Lock. The lock-plate is chiselled with a stag-hunt in low relief the cock and the steel with rococo ornament, with a bust of Diana in the centre of the latter. The chiselled decoration is here of bright steel, the ground work matt gold. The screw-heads and pan-cover spring have originally been blued.

    Stock of walnut delicately carved with a shell design at each end of the screw and lock-plates, and inlaid with oval buttons of yellow stained ivory and a profusion of small gold quatrefoils of varying size. Near the breech-strap, butt-cap, trigger-guard finial, and on either side of the fore-end are bands of scrollwork inlaid in silver gilt. Mounts of steel delicately chiselled with deer and hunting scenes framed in rococo ornament. The escutcheon-plate is of silver gilt and takes the form of an oval shield bearing the interlaced cipher A E D (Augustus Elector Dux?) inlaid in gold. Steel fore-end cap decorated en suite, and wooden ramrod with steel tip.

    German (Saxon), about 1750; probably by J. C. Stockmar.

    Provenance: the Elector of Saxony; Demidoff, Prince of San Donato, sold Paris, April 1870, lot 660, purchased for Lord Hertford for 2,300 fr.

    These beautiful pistols belong to the set of which the guns and rifle are described under Nos. A1119-20 (q.v.), and like them are probably by J. C. Stockmar. The style of decoration is reminiscent of the designs of de Marteaux, published in Paris in 1743 and 1749 (Lenk, Flintlåset, 1939, pl. 130). There is a similar pair of pistols in the Halwyll Collection at Stockholm, and compare a pair at Windsor Castle (nos. 486-7), but in this case the companion gun is signed by Johann Georg Weiss. Compare also the pair of Saxon royal pistols in the Nieuwerkerke Collection, exhibited at the Musée Rétrospectif, 1865, no. 1988.

    The lock has no external bridle. The side-screws fit into sleeves on the inside of the lock-plate. The monogram on the stock stands for Ernst Augustus Dux (E. Henniger, letter of 6 September 1963).

    Provenance: Duke Ernst Augustus I or II of Saxe-Weimar.

    Hayward, Art of the Gun-maker, II, 1963, p. 343, pI. 74. Since the monogram on A1203-4 differs from that on A1119, and since the decoration is also not entirely similar, they are unlikely to belong to the same garniture. For a note on this group, see A1119.

    The Saxon royal pistols exhibited by Nieuwerkerke in the Musée Rétrospectif 1865 were presumably A1201-2.