Double-Barreled Wheellock Pistol Made for Emperor Charles V (reigned 1519–56)

Gunsmith: Peter Peck (German, Munich, 1503–1596)

Etcher: Ambrosius Gemlich (German, Munich and Landshut, active ca. 1520–50)

Date: ca. 1540–45

Geography: Munich

Culture: German, Munich

Medium: Steel, gold, wood (cherry), staghorn

Dimensions: L. 19 3/8 in. (49.2 cm); L. of upper barrel 10 in. (25.4 cm); L. of lower barrel 7 5/8 in. (19.4 cm); Cal. of each barrel .46 in. (11.7 mm); Wt. 5 lb. 10 oz. (2550 g)

Classification: Firearms-Pistols-Wheellock

Credit Line: Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913

Accession Number: 14.25.1425


One of the earliest pistols, this firearm was designed and produced by Peter Peck, a maker of watches and guns. The two locks combined in one mechanism provided the barrels with separate ignition. Made for Emperor Charles V (reigned 1519–56), the pistol is decorated with his dynastic and personal emblems: the double-headed eagle and the pillars of Hercules with the Latin motto PLUS ULTRA (More beyond).