Snaphance Flintlock Pistol Made for Wilhelm, Duke of Kurland
Steel, gold, silver, wood (brazilwood)
L. 19 3/4 in. (50.2 cm); L. of barrel 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm); Cal. .38 in. ( 9.7 mm); Wt. 2 lb. 5 oz. (1050 g)
Gift of Mrs. Alexander McMillan Welch, in memory of Alexander McMillan Welch, 1946
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 375
The earliest recorded Scottish pistols, like this example, have stocks made of wood rather than steel. This pistol, one of a pair, was given by the duke of Kurland to Johann Georg I, elector of Saxony, in 1616. Its mate remains in the Historisches Museum, Dresden. It is believed that the pistols were originally a royal gift to Duke Wilhelm from James I, king of England and Scotland, in 1615.
Inscription: Inscribed on the lockplate: 1615.
Marking: Marked on the lockplate and barrel: H I, superimposed and surmounted by a crown;
Engraved on a silver plaque set in the barrel near the breech: the arms belonging to Wilhelm, Duke of Kurland, with his initials incorporated.