The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Combined ramrod, priming-flask and wheel-lock spanner
  • Combined ramrod, priming-flask and wheel-lock spanner
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • early 17th century
  • Steel
  • Length: 62.4 cm, overall
    Length: 55.5 cm, rod
    Weight: 0.51 kg
  • A1307
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Combined ramrod, priming flask and wheel-lock key, made entirely out of steel. At one end is a heart-shaped primer with a cap lever fitting over the nozzle. The ram unscrews leaving a hole in the base of the flask for filling it. To one side is riveted a rectangular box pierced with three key openings of different sizes. To the base of the primer is screwed a tubular ramrod, the opposite end of which is threaded internally to take a worm or possibly an extra length of rod.

    Possibly German, early 17th century.

    Similar combinations of ramrod, flask and key are in the Musée de l' Armée (inv. no. M 2101), and the Musée de Cluny, Paris (no. 14.192); the Wartburg (Diener-Schonberg, no. 727); and the Metropolitan Museum, New York. One was in The Keasbey sale, The American Art Association, New York, 27-28 November 1925, lot 173. Another similar flask is in the Kienbusch collection in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (cat., no. 723, pl. CLXI).

    Similar flasks for use by cuirassiers, and carried on the holsters, are illustrated by Wilhelm Dilich, Kriegsbuch, Cassel 1607-8, pl. LVI. Some rather similar flasks in the Landeszeughaus at Graz are probably the 'langer Feldt spanner' of the 1647 Inventory (Von Meran, Das Landeszeughaus in Graz, p. 146).