A FINE 60 BORE GERMAN (THURINGIAN) WHEEL-LOCK CARBINE, SUHL, LATE 16TH CENTURY
with tapering barrel chiselled against a finely matted ground over its full length with the five allegorical figures, probably of the seven liberal arts, within architectural niches surrounded by leafy tendrils inhabited by exotic birds, a hound and a rabbit, struck with the maker's mark (Neue Støckel 2767) over the breech, engraved tang signed 'HW', flat lock retained by two side nails, struck with leafy tendrils on a matted ground and stamped with the maker's mark en suite with the barrel, fitted with raised wheel-cover decorated with a double eagle displayed, engraved dog formed as a marine monster, sliding pan-cover with button release (spring defective), and delicately filed safety spring with button lever, full stock inlaid with engraved staghorn plaques within segmental frames, comprising leafy mouldings enriched with pellets over the fore-end, flowers and scrolls about the tang, a devils mask between two scrolling demi-masks behind the ramrod-pipe aperture, a strapwork frame inhabited by an owl and two rabbits opposite the lock, foliate strapwork about the trigger, hooked butt formed with a slender comb decorated with a classical vase beneath and bouquets of fruit above, the left and right with differing espagnolette masks on strapwork panels, exotic birds and flowers, and all enriched with scrollwork and pellets, associated iron trigger-guard, engraved staghorn ramrod-pipe and fore-end cap (small cracks and chips, a small numbers of inlays missing, some minor restorations), and associated horn-tipped wooden ramrod
63.5 cm; 25 in barrel
Thomas Davies-Colley, Newbold Estate, Bruera, Chester, circa 1890
Thence by descent
The treatment of the barrel and lock belongs to a small group of wheel-lock firearms including a number with profusely inlaid stocks previously attributed Klaus Hirt of Wassungen. A pair of such pistols, with the same mark as the present carbine and also with a double eagle on the lock, were formerly in the Saxon Royal Collections, Dresden, sold Sotheby & Co, London, 23 March 1970, lot 66. Another pistol decorated in this manner was sold Sotheby's Olympia, lot 26 June 2003. The leafy tendrils on the barrel and lock are characteristic of Suhl firearms of this period a number of which have stocks carved en suite. For a discussion of this group, many of which are preserved in the former Saxon Electoral Armoury, now the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden see Schaal 1978, pp.19-33.
£8000 - 10000 Click here for details of BP and other fees payable on this lot.