The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Flint-lock pistol with ramrod
  • Flint-lock pistol with ramrod
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France
  • c. 1760
  • Steel, gold, silver, walnut wood, damascened, engraved and chiselled
  • Length: 42.5 cm, overall
    Length: 24.4 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.6 cm, calibre
    Weight: 0.96 kg
  • Inscription: 'MAZELLIER APARIS'
    Stamp: 'MOИMARRIИ' together with a partially obliterated mark
    Inscription: 'Mazelier AParis' Engraved
    Inscription: 'RVE DE SENE'
    Warranty mark: small eagle-head marks Warranty marks used for 1838 - 1846
  • A1214
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Flint-lock pistol, a pair with A1213. The barrel is octagonal at the breech changing to round section, the surface blued. The top plane carries a silver foresight and is inscribed in gold overlay:

    MAZELLIER APARIS

    With overlaid gold decoration at the breech. The breech-strap is of bright steel, partly engraved. The muzzle is finished with an applied silver moulding. On the underside of the barrel is stamped:

    MOИMARRIИ

    together with a partially obliterated mark.

    Lock. The lock-plate and cock are engraved with rococo ornament. The cock is a replacement, though not a recent one. It retains one of the original pins securing the barrel, slightly flattened and provided with a head to facilitate removal. The steel is chiselled with a grotesque mask, and the tail of the pan-cover is formed as a dolphin. The lock has a bridle on its tumbler but no bridle for the pan-cover. The side-screws fit into sleeves inside the lock-plate and do not pierce the plate. There are small eagle-head marks on the trigger-guard, apparently the restricted warranty marks used for 1838 to 1846, indicating that these pistols were on the market in Paris during that period.

    The lock-plate is engraved:

    Mazelier Aparis

    and on the lower chamfered edge:

    RVE DE SENE

    Stock of walnut carved in places in low relief, and inlaid around the scutcheon-plate with silver wire in the form of birds and serpents. The mounts are of silver blade chased in low relief with trophies of arms and foliated scrollwork. In the centre of the butt-cap is a medallion with a classical bust in profile, and another medallion forms part of the pierced screw-plate with is decorated with a boar hunt among openwork foliage. Wooden ramrod with the original sliver tip and a ferrule threaded to take a cleaning implement and pierced with a rectangular slot.

    French, about 1760.

    There is a pistol with a similar signature on barrel and lock by Mazellier in the Kungl. Livrustkammer, Stockholm (no. 843). He signed the lock of one of a pair of pistols, otherwise of later English manufacture, at Windsor Castle. This pair are dated 1743/4, and signed ‘Manlier A Paris, rue de Seine’ (1904 cat., no. 199). P. Jarlier records two men of this name; Jean, whom he dates 1720-3, giving his address as Rue de Seine, paroisse de Saint-Sulpice; and Jean-Baptiste, Jurand of the Paris Gunmakers' Guild, 1748-50, and also documented in the following year (2e Supplement, col. 191). Other examples of his work are pistols in Dresden (nos. 741-743) and two long guns in the same collection (nos. 1273-4).

    A pistol signed by Mazellier was in the collection of Count Joseph von Dietrich (sold at the Dorotheum, Vienna, 1924, lot 35). This pistol was signed in exactly the same manner as these.

    According to N. Støckel, II, p. 779, Mazelier was the master of Pierre Lepage from 1726 to 1730.