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
  • Francisco Lopez (+ c. 1800) , (barrel)
  • Spain
  • c. 1760
  • Steel, gold, burr walnut wood, silver and ivory, gilded, chiselled, blued and carved
  • Length: 48 cm, overall
    Length: 31.2 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.6 cm, calibre
    Weight: 1.195 kg
  • Maker's mark: 'FRCO/LO/PEZ'
    Inscription: '1500'
  • A1235
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Further Reading
  • Flint-lock pistol, a pair with A1234. The barrel octagonal at the breech, then polygonal and finally of round section, finished at the muzzle with narrow turned mouldings. The breech-strap is chiselled with gilt foliage, while between the faceted and round sections is a band of chiselled acanthus foliage. The rest of the surface is blued and inlaid in gold with formal foliage for two-thirds of the length and again near the muzzle. There is a gold facing at the vent. At the breech are the gold stamps of the maker:

    FRCO/LO/PEZ

    Lock (à la moda). The lock-plate is chased with trophies of arms and the rest of the lock with scrollwork and floral ornament chiselled in low relief, the ground matt gold. The mechanism follows the Spanish practice in having a sear passing through the lock-plate and engaging with projections on the breast and tail of the cock, though the general appearance of the lock with inside fitted mainspring is conventional. Ring-headed jaw-screw and gold-lined pan.

    The trigger is bent.

    Stock of burr walnut, with slight carving of foliage near the breech-strap and trigger-guard, and inlaid with patterns in silver wire. Steel mounts chiselled in low relief on ground of matt gold. The butt-cap has in the centre a grotesque mask and on the sides of scrollwork and trophies. The screw-plate has a trophy with a figure in oriental dress amid rococo scrollwork. Trigger-guard and scutcheon-plate en suite. The front ramrod pipe is in one piece with a steel loop securing the barrel to the stock, and held in place by a spring-catch on the right side. Wooden ramrod with moulded ivory tip, on the end of which is faintly inscribed in ink the number 1500.

    The striking face of the steel is not roughened. There is no external bridle for the pan-cover.

    Spanish, about 1760.

    Hayward, Art of the Gunmaker, II, 1963, p. 338, pI. 51c.

    The type of lock known in Spain as 'a la moda' is described and discussed by. D. Lavin (1965, pp. 182-4).

    Francisco López, one of several gunmakers of that name, was a pupil of Juan Santos. He was appointed gunmaker to King Charles III of Spain in 1761 and retired 23 October in 1773 and seems to have died about 1800. He was the father of Gregorio López, himself a gunmaker and father of Francisco II who followed the same trade (Lavin, op. cit., p. 264, no. 53, and p. 265, nos. 55 and 56 respectively). Solér was a pupil of Francisco López I. There is another gun by F. López, with a barrel by Basilio Escalante I, in the Archaeological Museum, Madrid (1980 cat., no. 13).

    There is a gun with barrel signed: Francisco López en Madrid Ãno 1756, in the Real Armería at Madrid (No. K 158). Isidro Solér, in his book on Los Arcobuceros de Madrid, published in 1795, also mentions a namesake who was working in the second half of the 18th century at Salamanca, and whose counter mark was a crowned lion with raised paws and very thin tail, but his work does not bear comparison with that of the Royal gunsmith. There is a sporting gun by Francisco López of Madrid in the Bargello at Florence. The marks on the barrel are recorded by N. Støckel, I, p. 726, no. a 7803, and p. 726, no. a 708 respectively.