The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Wheel-lock pistol with ramrod
  • Wheel-lock pistol with ramrod
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Barrel and stock- Germany; lock- Italy
  • c. 1570, c. 1620, 19th century (stock)
    c. 1620 (barrel)
    c. 1620 (lock)
  • Steel, silver, walnut wood, antler, gold and wood, encrusted, gilded and engraved
  • Length: 50.3 cm, overall
    Length: 29.2 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.4 cm, calibre
    Weight: 1.55 kg
  • A1164
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock pistol, the barrel octagonal at the breech, and in the forward part divided into a number of planes. The surface is decorated with silver incrustations, the octagonal portion with a Renaissance pattern of cherubs' heads, fruit and flowers, and the forward section studded with small rosettes. The groundwork is roughened and shows traces of gilding. There is a backsight on the tang, but the foresight has been removed. The barrel may not originally belong, and has been shortened and adapted to the stock.

    Lock with external wheel secured by a ring-shaped bearing-plate, the ends shaped as monsters' heads. The wheel shows traces of engraved foliage. The entire surface of the lock-plate is decorated with silver incrustations of foliage, and the arm of the cock with silver rosettes added in the 19th century to be en suite with the barrel.

    Walnut stock inlaid with rather coarse ornament of engraved antler, including representation of the Creation and Fall. Flattened, spherical butt inlaid with birds and animals. Wooden ramrod with antler tip.

    Stock, German, about 1570; barrel, about 1620; lock, probably Italian, about 1620, but with German decoration of the 19th century.

    L' Art Ancien, I, 26; Musée Rétrospectif, 1865

    De Beaumont Catalogue, pl. 12.

    Provenance: Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    A pair of pistol barrels with similar decoration is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Farquharson Bequest, M 690, 691-1927); and another pair is in the Musée de l' Armée (M 1990). Compare also the decoration of A1091 and 1094 above. The same kind of silver-encrusted decoration of varying quality is also found on sword-hilts (e.g. A554-5 and A597) in this Collection.

    The cock is of Italian type.

    Exhibited: ? Musée Rétrospectif, 1865, no. 1989.

    Peterson, Encyclopaedia of firearms, 1964, illus. on p. 351.

    Provenance: A. Uboldo (illustrated among the Dassi drawings 'Armi da fuoco. no. 36' in the Castello Sforzesco, with the barrel still undecorated, but already apparently with the present cock).