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.

St. Petersburg, Russia. Stieglitz Museum. "Exposition rétrospective d'objets d'art," 1904.

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.

Pyhrr, Stuart W. "Of Arms and Men: Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan, 1912–2012." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 70, no. 1 (Summer 2012). pp. 30–31, fig. 47.

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