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
  • Attributed to L. Landi , (barrel)
  • Naples or Brescia, Italy
  • c. 1660
  • Steel, walnut wood and chiselled
  • Length: 40.2 cm, overall
    Length: 24.2 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.3 cm, calibre
    Weight: 0.965 kg
  • Stamp: A mark
  • A1233
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Flint-lock pistol, the barrel octagonal and fluted at the breech. Immediately in front of this it is chiselled with floral ornament. The muzzle is finished with a moulding and chiselled nebuly ornament. A mark is stamped on the left side.

    Lock (patilla) of Spanish type with outside mainspring. The cock, steel, and mainspring are richly chiselled with floral ornament, while the plates covering the pan-cover spring, and the ends of the mainspring, and also the finial of the pan-cover and the forward edge of the lock-plate are chiselled and pierced with grotesque human figures among grape-vines. Screwed to the rear end of the lock-plate is a dragon of chiselled steel in high relief. The ring of the screw for tightening the jaws of the cock is formed by two opposed dolphins. The face of the steel is ridged, and the inside of the pan is serrated and may have originally been lined with gold.

    Stock of walnut, the butt flattened and shaped in the Spanish style. The mounts are all of steel, chiselled with conventional flowers and foliage. The ramrod pipe is formed as a large mount fitting round the fore-end and held in position by the same pin as that securing the barrel. Its decoration is pierced as well as chiselled. Wooden ramrod with steel tip shaped as a twisted column.

    Neapolitan, or Brescian, for the Spanish market, about 1660.

    During this period Naples was under the Spanish monarchy. The cup-hilt rapier A654, is an example of Neapolitan work executed in the Spanish style.
    The mechanism differs from that of the usual 'patilla' lock in that the half-cock projection is made in one with the sear, and the mainspring has arms of equal length.

    Gaibi, Armi da fuoco, 1962, p. 114, pI. 86A; Hoff, Feuerwaffen, I, 1969, fig. 186; Gaibi, Armi da fuoco, 1978, fig. 220; Blair, Pollard's History of Firearms, 1983, pI. 74.

    The mark is not recorded by N. Støckel. A. Gaibi (loc. cit., 1978) tentatively attributed the barrel-maker's mark to L. Landi, but gave no dates for him. A comparable pistol is in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (no. 28.196.14; Lavin, 1965, fig. 86). The type of lock known by the contemporary Spanish name of patilla is fully described and discussed by D. Lavin (1965, pp. 160-80). C. Blair gives a long list of examples comparable in construction and decoration with A1233, but comes to no conclusion about where precisely they were manufactured (1974, no. 120). N. di Carpegna inclined tentatively to the view that they might have been made in Brescia (Firearms, 1975, nos. 105-7).