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.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Incisive Images: Ivory and Boxwood Carvings, 1450–1800," March 13–November 25, 2007.

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, p. 241.

Micol, J.M. "Dessins à la Plume." In Panoplie Européenne. Brussels: Musée d’Armes et d'Objets Anciens, Bordeaux, 1858. n.p., pl. 8, fig. 5, ill.

Prokop, August, and Wendelin Boeheim. Kunstgewerbliches aus der vom Mähr. Gewerbe-Museum im Jahre 1885 veranstalteten Ausstellung von Waffen, Kriegs- und Jagd-Geräthen. Brünn: Moravské Zemské Muzeum, 1886. pp. 21–22, ill. (on pls. 17-19.).

List, C. Katalog der Historischen Ausstellung für Jagd- und Schützenwesen. Stockerau, Austria: Verlag des Ausstellung-Comités für das X. n.-ö. Landes-Schiessen, June 1–9, 1902. No. 258, ill.

Prachoff, Adrien. Album de l'Exposition Rétrospective d'Objets d'Art de 1904, à St. Petersbourg. St. Petersbourg: S-Té R. Golicke & A. Wilborg, 1904. pp. 249, 251, ill (pl. 124).

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. pp. 230–33, no. 187, pls. LVII–LVIII.

Thomas, Bruno, Ortwin Gamber, and Hans Schedelmann. Arms and Armour of the Western World. New York: McGraw Hill, 1964. Reference updated from object cards. - M. Sock, 10/19/17.

Hoff, Arne. Feuerwaffen: Ein Waffenhistorisches Handbuch. Vol. 1. Brunswick: Klinkhardt u. Biermann, 1969. p. 55.

Blair, Claude. "A Royal Swordsmith and Damascener: Diego de Çaias." Metropolitan Museum Journal 3 pp. 182–183, figs. 51, 52, ill.

Schwennicke, Detlev. Europäische Stammafeln, new series. Vol. 6. Marburg: J. A. Stargardt, Berlin, 1978. plate 98 (Croy genealogy).

Blair, Claude. "King Henry VIII's Chamber Pieces." Royal Armouries Yearbook (2002), pp. 22–39, figs. 13–15, ill.

Pyhrr, Stuart W. "Of Arms and Men: Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan, 1912–2012." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Summer 2012), pp. 30–31, fig. 47.

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