Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pair of Wheellock Pistols Made for the Bodyguard of the Prince-Elector of Saxony

Simon Helbig (German, Dresden, recorded 1609–1642)
Stock maker:
Hans Fleischer (German, Dresden, recorded 1590–ca. 1625)
ca. 1610
German, Dresden
Steel, gold, brass, staghorn, wood (beech)
L. of each pistol 29 1/8 in. (73.9 cm); L. of each barrel 8 3/4 in. (47.6 cm); Cal. of each pistol .57 in. (14.5 mm); Wt. of each pistol 4 lb. 5 oz. (1956 g)
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
14.25.1398a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 375
Inscription: Stamped on the barrel: a helmet within a shield, with the initials S H (probably referring to the gunmaker Simon Helbig).

Incised on the under sides of the stocks: the numeral 2 (on pistol b), and the numeral 3 (on pistol a).

Engraved on the stock: the arms of Saxony and the monogram HF (probably referring to the Dresden stockmaker Hans Fleischer).
Ex. coll.: Waffensammlung, Dresden; Prince Peter Soltykoff, Paris; William H. Riggs, Paris.
Anonymous, and Prince Peter Soltykoff. Catalogue d'une Nombreuse Collection d'Armes et Armures Européennes des XVe et XVIe Siècles. Hôtel Drouot, Paris: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 18–22, 1854. p. 23, no. 268 (these pistols, sold to Mr. W.H. Riggs).

Stockel, Johann F., and Tøjhusmuseet. Haandskydevaabens Bedømmelse. Vol. I. Copenhagen: Nordlundes Bogtrykkeri, 1938. p. 129, nos. 491–492 (for mark of barrelsmith Simon Heilbig (Helwig), active in Dresden 1609–1635); p. 97, no. 379 (for monogram of Hans Fleischer, active in Dresden ca. 1575–1610, or Hans Frost, active 1600 – ca. 1610).

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