Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Wheellock Gun of Philippe de Croy, Prince of Chimay (1526–1595)

possibly Antwerp
Flemish, possibly Antwerp
Steel, gold, silver, wood, ivory
L. 42 1/8 in. (107.0 cm); L. of barrel 27 5/8 in. (70.2 cm); Cal. .56 in. (14.2 mm); Wt. 8 lb. 10 oz. (3917 g)
Credit Line:
Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. Bashford Dean, 1929
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 375
This hunting gun of unusual richness and superb workmanship incorporates in its decoration the initials and the coat of arms of Philippe de Croy (1526–1595), a Franco-Flemish nobleman and Spanish grandee. Figures and scenes carved in ivory represent more than a dozen Greek gods and a series of detailed vignettes with episodes from the story of the mythological hero Perseus.
Inscription: Inscribed: MELIVS EST NOS MORI IN BELLO QVA[M] VIDERE MALE GENTIS NOSTRAE (It is better for us to die in war than to look upon the misery of our people). This is probably a paraphrasing of Livius XXII, 15, 7, the answer of the Roman senate after the Battle of Cannae, 216 BC.
Ex. coll.: Prince Rudolf von und zu Liechtenstein, Schloss Märisch-Kromau, Moravia (inv. no. 152); Liechtenstein "Garden Palace," vienna; Vaduz.
Dresden. Historischen Museums, Dresden, Johanneum. "Historische Ausstellung für Jadg– und Schützenwesen," June 1–9, 1902, no. 258 lent by Prince Liechtenstein.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Incisive Images," March 13–November 25, 2007 no catalogue.

Maurice, Jean Baptiste. Le blason des armoiries de tous les chevaliers de l'Ordre de la Toison D'Or depuis la premier institution jusques à present.. The Hague,

Micol, J.M. "Dessins à la Plume." In Panoplie Européenne. Brussels: Musée d’Armes et d'Objets Anciens, Bordeaux, 1858.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Stephen V. Grancsay, and Carl Otto von Kienbusch. The Bashford Dean Collection of Arms and Armor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Portland, Maine: Southworth Press for the Armor and Arms Club of New York City, 1933.

Related Objects


Date: ca. 1580–90 Medium: Steel, gold, copper alloy Accession: 04.3.200 On view in:Gallery 374

Double-Barreled Wheellock Pistol Made for Emperor Charles V (reigned 1519–56)

Artist: Peter Peck (German, Munich, 1503–1596) Date: ca. 1540–45 Medium: Steel, gold, wood (cherry), staghorn Accession: 14.25.1425 On view in:Gallery 375

Helmet, Breastplate, and Backplate

Artist: Signed on the backplate by D. G. V. Lochorst (Flemish, possibly Antwerp, active ca. 1575) Date: ca. 1575 Medium: Steel, leather, textile (velvet, wool) Accession: 38.137a–c On view in:Gallery 374

Flintlock Gun of Louis XIII (1601–1643), King of France

Artist: Pierre Le Bourgeois (French, Lisieux, died 1627) Date: ca. 1620 Medium: Steel, brass, silver, gold, wood (walnut), mother-of-pearl Accession: 1972.223 On view in:Gallery 375


Date: ca. 1540 Medium: Steel, silver, wood Accession: 2010.200 On view in:Gallery 376