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Pair of Wheellock Pistols

Designer:
Decoration on the stocks copied in part from engravings by Étienne Delaune (French, Orléans 1518/19–1583 Strasbourg)
Date:
ca. 1570–80
Culture:
French
Medium:
Steel, gold, silver, brass, wood (walnut), staghorn, pigment
Dimensions:
L. of each pistol 20 1/8 in. (51.1 cm); Cal. of 14.25.1433a .444 in (11.2 mm); Cal. of 14.25.1433b .463 in. (11.3 mm); L. of each barrel 12 in. (30.5 cm); L. of plug 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm); Diam. at muzzle 3/4 in. (19.1 mm); Diam. at breech 1 5/16 in. (3.3 cm); L. of lock 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm); Wt. of 14.25.1433a 4 lb. 2 oz. (1871 g); Wt. of 14.25.1433b 4 lb. (1814 g)
Classification:
Firearms-Guns-Wheellock
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
14.25.1433a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 375
These pistols are remarkable for the chiseled and gilt decoration of the barrels and locks, for the distinctive figural and floral inlay on the stocks, which is copied in part from ornament engravings by Etienne Delaune (1518/19–1583), and for the use of red paint to highlight the stock decoration. The survival of the matching priming flask also in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (acc. no. 14.25.1523) is also exceptional for a pistol from this early date.
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