Pair of Wheellock Pistols Made for the Bodyguard of the Prince-Elector of Saxony
Zacharias Herold (German, Dresden, recorded 1586–1618)
Steel, wood, silver, gold, brass
14.25.1399a; L. 24 3/16 in. (61.4 cm); L. of barrel 15 1/16 in. (38.3 cm); Cal. .502 in. (12.8 mm); Wt. 4 lb. 3 oz. (1899 g)
14.25.1399b; L. 24 3/4 in. (62.9 cm); L. of barrel 15 3/8 in. (39.1 cm); Cal. .507 in. (12.88 mm); Wt. 4 lb. 1 oz. (1850 g)
Many similar pistols were made by Dresden gunmakers for the elector's mounted bodyguard. The large spherical pommel facilitated easy withdrawal from a saddle holster. The Saxon ducal arms is on the silver buttplate.
Marking: Stamped on one of the barrels: a fleur-de-lys.
William H. Riggs, Paris (until 1913; his gift to MMA).
Washington D.C. National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "The Splendor of Dresden," June 1, 1978–September 4, 1978.