The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Wheel-lock, detached
  • Wheel-lock, detached
  • Benjamin Zöffel
  • Germany
  • c. 1685
  • Steel, engraved, pierced, chiselled and blued
  • Length: 24.3 cm, lock-plate
    Weight: 1.2 kg
  • Signature: 'B. Zöffel sculp'
  • A1118
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock, with an internal wheel, the lock-plate being slightly bossed out to accommodate it. The lock has a self-winding mechanism effected by the action of bringing the cock over to make contact with the wheel, thus winding the spring by means of a ratchet. Alternatively, the lock can be wound by a key in the usual manner, in which case the cock may be disconnected by withdrawing a hinged staple on the pivot of the cock (see also A1081). Part of the ratchet mechanism is now missing. The lock-plate is engraved with a landscape with a mounted huntsman in the foreground. Around the key spindle the surface is engraved with a swag of acanthus foliage and flowers. Near the bottom edge of the lock-plate is the signature:

    B. Zöffel sculp.

    The cock is furnished with a flat pyrites guard, engraved and pierces with St. George and the Dragon. The end of the cocking lever is chiselled in the round as a monster's head. Cock-spring covered by a plate engraved and pierced with a seated satyr, a fanciful animal and a bird. Pan chiselled in low relief with a grotesque mask, and sliding pan-cover with another head in high relief. The interior mechanism is well finished and retains some of the original blued surface. The bridle is engraved with foliage.

    German (Saxon), about 1685.

    Benjamin Zöffel, or Zeffel, worked at Wiesenthal in Saxony. His 'masterpiece', a wheel-lock rifle dated 1684, is in the Historisches Museum at Dresden, no. 373. This also has a self-winding lock. Benjamin Zeffel is listed in N. Støckel, II, p. 1430, but with no additional information.