POTD: Engraved Wheellock Puffer Pistol with Inlaid Stock
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! This time around we have a beautifully engraved pistol. Not just any pistol though! The fabulous wheellock pistol. Wheellock was yet another muzzleloading mechanism that didn’t really survive into the mid-late 1800s. It is famed to be used by french musketeers to defend the monarchs. Wheellock is interesting because rather than a piece of flint striking steel a wound-up spring (note the key on the side for winding) inside the wheel mechanism spins for a very quick and short duration causing sparks and igniting the powder. There is a type of stone, but it is not flint so I apologize I do not remember what the spring makes contact with.
“These incredible pistols are part of a group of pistols in this style that are known in international private and institutional collections from c. 1580-1620 and often associated with the Saxon Electoral Armoury in Dresden. A few of these pistols are known with the same or similar “HB” markings on the locks or barrels, and one of these pistols housed in the Historical Museum in Bern has a stock signed by master stocker Klaus Hirt of Wasungen, Thuringia. The stock work on the other pistols, including this one, have been attributed to Hirt based on the signed example. “HB” has been believed to be a gunsmith from Suhl but remains unknown. Some of the same design elements are featured on multiple of the pistols, but many also show a variety of different elements while remaining in the same impressive artistic style and the “puffer” form.”
Lot 278: Engraved Wheellock Puffer Pistol with Inlaid Stock [Photograph found in Auction Catalog #82, Rock Island Auction Company]. (n.d.). Retrieved June 7, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/82/278/engraved-wheellock-puffer-pistol-with-inlaid-stock