The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Wheel-lock spanner
  • Wheel-lock spanner
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1620
  • Steel, engraved and formerly blued
  • Length: 24.4 cm
  • A1320
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock key, of L-shaped form; of steel, formerly blued. Short double-ended key-cylinder of round section, with turned mouldings engraved with foliage and formerly gilt. The stem joins the cylinder at one end, while the lower end has circular mouldings engraved and formerly gilt. Beyond the eye for suspension, it is octagonal and then flattened towards the tip where it terminates in a screw-driver. The flattened end is pierced with three circular holes, one large and two small, and on one side there projects a second small key-cylinder. At this point is pivoted a long pin or pricker for clearing a blocked vent. When not in use it lied along the key, the end being caught in a notch on the stem. At the point of balance on the stem is a swivel-eye for suspension. The screw-driver is stamped on one side with a maker's mark. The 1962 catalogue suggests that this is of a shield charged with an eagle displayed, however the 1986 supplement argues that the mark actually appears to be a lobster in a shield-shaped compartment (N. Støckel, II, p. 1462, no. d 5348 or d 8452, Nuremberg 1593). It occurs also on a grenade-launcher at Skokloster, Sweden.

    German, about 1620.

    Blackmore, Guns and Rifles of the World, 1965, fig. 833. It is possible that the holes in the end nearest the screw-driver are gauges for two sizes of bullets for a set of pistols and a carbine. The two different gauges of spanner may either be to fit the disparate axle-trees of the garniture, or to fit the axle-tree and the jaw-screw of the cock of the same weapon.