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Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Pair of Wheellock Pistols with Matching Priming Flask/Spanner

Designer:
Decoration on the stocks copied in part from engravings by Étienne Delaune (French, Orléans 1518/19–1583 Strasbourg)
Date:
ca. 1570–80
Culture:
French
Medium:
Steel, gold, silver, brass, wood (walnut), staghorn, brass wire, pigment
Dimensions:
Cal. of each pistol, .44 in (11.18 mm); Wt. of 14.25.1433a: 4 lb. 2 oz. (1871 g); Wt. of 14.25.1433b: 4 lb. (1814 g); L. of each pistol, 20 1/8 in. (51.1 cm); L. of priming flask/spanner, 5 7/8 in. (14.91 cm)
Classification:
Firearms-Pistols-Wheellock
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
14.25.1433a, b; .1523
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 375
These pistols are remarkable for the chiseled and gilt decoration of the barrels and locks, for the distinctive figural and floral inlay on the stocks, which is copied in part from ornament engravings by Etienne Delaune (1518/19–1583), and for the use of red paint to highlight the stock decoration. The survival of the matching priming flask is also exceptional for a pistol from this early date.
William H. Riggs, Paris (until 1913; his gift to MMA).
Collection, sale catalogue, February, 1865. Paris, February 1865.

Thoumas, Charles-Antoine. Exposition Rétrospective Militaire du Ministère de la Guerre en 1889. Vol. I. Paris: H. Launette et Cie., G. Boudet successeur, 1890. pl. opp. p. 46.

Scofield, J.K., J. F. Hayward, James G. Mann, and C.G.E. Bunt. "Old Firearms in America." The Connoisseur 108 (1941). p. 8, figs. 2–2a.

Lenk, Torsten, Blanche Byrne, Jane Clark, Charles R. Beard, Leslie Southwick, Ian Eaves, John F. Hayward, Gordon T. Howard, and Walter J. Karcheski. The Journal of the Arms and Armour Society 2 (1956–1958).

Hayward, J. F. The Art of the Gunmaker. Vol. 1. 1500–1660. London: Barrie and Rockliff, 1962. p. 284, pls. 16a, b.

Blair, Claude. Pistols of the World. London: Batsford, 1968.

Morin, Marco. Armi Antiche. 1st ed. Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1982. no. 89.



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