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
  • Germany
  • c. 1560
  • Steel, gold and wood, etched, gilded and engraved
  • Length: 70.8 cm, overall
    Length: 52.5 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.1 cm, bore
    Weight: 1.91 kg
  • Maker's mark
    Maker's mark: 'P.B.' and an angel
  • A1167
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Wheel-lock pistol, the barrel octagonal at the breech, etched for its entire length with arabesques and conventional foliage. The ground in the octagonal section is entirely gilt, in the circular section a panel containing an owl and another panel near the muzzle are gilt, the rest of the ground being blackened. Foresight and backsight. At the breech is stamped a maker's mark similar to that on the lock.

    Lock, with wheel enclosed in a convex steel cover etched with the Imperial eagle on a gilt, granulated ground. The lock-plate is etched with birds and foliage, on a blackened, granulated ground, within a border of foliage with a gilt ground (see also A1075). The flat surface of the cock is engraved with a monster. Safety-catch and press-in release for the pan-cover spring. Near the bottom edge of the lock-plate is a maker's mark, P.B., and an angel.

    Stock entirely of steel with small spherical butt, finished with a button. Surface entirely covered with etched arabesques of foliage and animals of the chase, all on a blackened granulated ground, relieved by reserves containing foliage on a gilt ground. On the back of the stock below the screw securing the breech-strap is etched a coat of arms: three fleurs-de-lys, on a chief, a lion passant, surmounted by a helm crested with a demi-lion rampant between two probosces, above which are the letters g. m. o. oh. b., and below is inscribed the name Michael Veldreiger. On the left side, secured by one of the lock-screws, is a steel belt hook. Wooden ramrod with steel tip etched en suite.

    German, possibly Dresden, about 1560.

    The decoration of the steel stock resembles the pistols of Erik XIV (1560-68) at Stockholm (cat. no. 294).

    The wheel-cover is hammered up out of the lock-plate rather than being made separately. The fore-end of the stock is broken away. The trigger is an 18th-century replacement. A very similar pistol at Vienna is dated 1556 (inv. no. A580; Schedelmann, 1972, p. 12, Fig. 20). The mark is not in N. Støckel, but its two components, the initials PB and the kneeling angel, occur separately, as nos. a 4228 and a 4928 respectively. These were tentatively attributed to Paul Buchner of Nuremberg and Dresden, recorded from 1559 to 1595 in the Saxon Electoral service. The same mark occurs on the lock and barrel of a pistol in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (no. 14.25.1411).