Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pair of Wheellock Pistols Made for the Bodyguard of the Prince-Elector of Saxony

Gunsmith:
Simon Helbig (German, Dresden, recorded 1609–1642)
Stock maker:
Hans Fleischer (German, Dresden, recorded 1590–ca. 1625)
Date:
ca. 1610
Geography:
Dresden
Culture:
German, Dresden
Medium:
Steel, gold, brass, staghorn, wood (beech)
Dimensions:
L. of each pistol 29 1/8 in. (73.9 cm); L. of each barrel 8 3/4 in. (47.6 cm); Cal. of each pistol .57 in. (14.5 mm); Wt. of each pistol 4 lb. 5 oz. (1956 g)
Classification:
Firearms-Pistols-Wheellock
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
14.25.1398a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 375
Inscription: Stamped on the barrel: a helmet within a shield, with the initials S H (probably referring to the gunmaker Simon Helbig).

Incised on the under sides of the stocks: the numeral 2 (on pistol b), and the numeral 3 (on pistol a).

Engraved on the stock: the arms of Saxony and the monogram HF (probably referring to the Dresden stockmaker Hans Fleischer).
William H. Riggs, Paris (until 1913; his gift to MMA).
Hagerstown, Md. Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. "Loan Exhibition of Medieval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 27–March 31, 1955, no. 108 (14.25.1398a).

Newark. Newark Museum Association. "Loan Exhibition of Medieval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 15–September 15, 1955, no. 108 (14.25.1398a).

Anonymous, and Prince Peter Soltykoff. Catalogue d'une Nombreuse Collection d'Armes et Armures Européennes des XVe et XVIe Siècles. Hôtel Drouot, Paris: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 18–22, 1854. p. 23, no. 268 (these pistols, sold to Mr. W.H. Riggs).

Stockel, Johann F., and Tøjhusmuseet. Haandskydevaabens Bedømmelse. Vol. 1. Copenhagen: Nordlundes Bogtrykkeri, 1938. p. 129, nos. 491–492 (for mark of barrelsmith Simon Heilbig (Helwig), active in Dresden 1609–1635); p. 97, no. 379 (for monogram of Hans Fleischer, active in Dresden ca. 1575–1610, or Hans Frost, active 1600 – ca. 1610).

Grancsay, Stephen V., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. Loan Exhibition of Medieval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Hagerstown, Md: Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, February 27–March 31, 1955. pp. 29–30, no. 108, ill.

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