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Peter Finer


Peter Finer


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Peter Finer THE OLD RECTORY ILMINGTON WARWICKSHIRE CV36 4JQ ENGLAND

TELEPHONE: +44 (0)1608 682267 FAX: +44 (0)1608 682575 FROM USA & CANADA TEL/FAX: 1 800 270 7951 (24 hours)

Our London premises are at: 38 & 39, DUKE STREET ST JAMES’S LONDON SW1Y 6DF ENGLAND

TELEPHONE +44 (0)20 7839 5666 FAX: +44 (0)20 7839 5777 www.peterfiner.com gallery@peterfiner.com


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THE CATALOGUING TEAM IAN D. D. EAVES, fsa, is a freelance consultant specialising in arms and armour. He was formerly Keeper of Armour at the Royal Armouries at The Tower of London where he worked for eighteen years. In 1993 he was awarded the Arms and Armour Society’s medal for services to the study of arms and armour and in 1995 he was elected President of the Society. During the past twenty-nine years he has written widely and many of his research articles published in the Journal of The Arms and Armour Society remain the definitive texts on the subject.

CLIVE THOMAS, mistc, is an artist specialising in historical illustration. A lifelong interest in history spawned his particular passion: works of the Medieval period on which he is an acknowledged expert. His article in the catalogue of the 2003 Park Lane Arms Fair entitled ‘A Distinctive Group of Swords from the Arsenal of Alexandria’ has been widely acclaimed and he is now undertaking further research to provide the basis for a comprehensive study of Alexandria Arsenal swords.

GUY WILSON, ma, fsa, frsa, worked in the Royal Armouries, the British national museum of arms and armour, from 1972 until 2002, serving as Master of the Armouries from 1988 until 2002. Since retiring, he has established a creative consultancy and co-founded a design company. He is currently involved in research, writing, museum planning, display design and audio and film projects. He has published widely on the subjects of arms and armour and museology. Chairman of the International Committee of Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History (ICOMAM) and its predecessor, IAMAM, since 2002, he has been an Honorary Member of the American Society of Arms Collectors since 1998.

STEPHEN WOOD, ma, fsa, is an independent consultant with thirty years’ experience as a curator in British national military museums; he was Keeper of the National War Museum of Scotland 1983–2000. Author of several books and numerous articles on military history, arms and armour and military museums, he contributed fifty-three entries to The Oxford Companion to Military History (Oxford, 2001). He was created a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government in 1994 in recognition of his book The Auld Alliance: France and Scotland, the military connection (Edinburgh, 1989). He has been an Honorary Member of the American Society of Arms Collectors since 1991.


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INTRODUCTION Welcome to this, our eighth catalogue. When we produced our first catalogue in 1995, I never dreamed that we would publish a further seven in the following twelve years. It is not an easy task to assemble so many important pieces each time, particularly those that are in exceptional condition and fresh to the market, but this is always our aim. We shall be exhibiting most of the items in this catalogue at the Winter Antiques Show held in New York City in January and then in Palm Beach shortly afterwards. In March we shall exhibit in Maastricht at the European Fine Art Fair. The antique shows at which we exhibit are listed at the back of this catalogue and the latest details may be found on our website. We are always happy to send complimentary tickets to our established clients. If you are unable to visit our stand at one of the shows, please do visit our website which is now actively managed and updated. As many of you will know, we opened our London shop two years ago in Duke Street, St James’s, just off Piccadilly and adjacent to Jermyn Street. This is being run by our son Redmond, assisted by his brother Roland. They are always happy to welcome visitors there and will make every effort to accommodate their schedules. If your time is tight, please give them a call and they will make an arrangement to suit you. Our cataloguers this year need little introduction and I am most grateful to all of them for their scholarly entries. Special thanks go to John Anderson for his appreciation of the Japanese Hand Cannon and to Johannes Auersperg for his of the Central European Alabaster Effigy. Many others have contributed their time and effort, including Dr David Alexander, Dr Claude Blair, Ruth Rhynas Brown, René Chartrand, Andrew Cormack, Grégory Desauvage, Nigell D’Oyly, Ann Eatwell, Dr Claude Gaier, Peter Hammond, Peter Harrington, Dr John Houlding, Frau Beatrix Houlding, Anthony North, Jan Piet Puype, Stuart Pyhrr, Dr Paula Turner and Frederick Wilkinson. Especial thanks are due to Chris Challis who, once again, has spent many long hours taking photographs of armour that glints, swords which refuse to remain where placed, cannon which are extremely difficult to manoeuvre and pistols which refuse to stay in focus. All our catalogues are a testimony to his skill and patience. Particular thanks go to Nickki Eden, who manages our database and is in charge of catalogue distribution and who has now been with us for more than eight years. I hope that you enjoy this catalogue. There are many exceptional pieces, each one unique, and I feel that this collection of items, which represents thousands of miles of travelling and many hours of negotiating – often with extremely reluctant vendors – ensures that this is one of the very best catalogues that we have ever produced. As always, if we can help in any way with the formation or development of a collection, or its conservation, maintenance or display, please do let us know. We have wide experience gained over many years of working in the field of antique arms and armour, and are more than happy to share it with you. Peter Finer


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OUR TERMS OF BUSINESS Every item in this catalogue is for sale. All sales are made on a first come, first served, basis. We will not reserve any item, but will send further photographs on request if required. All the items described in this catalogue are guaranteed to be genuine antiques and of the period stated. U.S. and Canadian callers should note that when using our 1 800 270 7951 number they will be answered by a 24-hour telephone answering/fax machine. Please send a fax or leave a message and we will respond as soon as possible. Alternatively you can contact us by email: gallery@peterfiner.com. We are always interested in purchasing single items or complete collections of antique guns, pistols, swords, armour and cannon, or taking goods on consignment. Our terms for selling are half those charged by the leading auction houses.

OUR BANKERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM Adam & Company 22 King Street, London SW1Y 6QY Sort Code: 83–91–36 Account Number: 14492400 Account Name: Peter Finer

IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA J. P. Morgan Chase 270, Park Avenue, 46th floor New York NY 10017 USA Account Number: 0341 133387 A.B.A. Number: 021000021 Account Name: Peter Finer

WE ACCEPT ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS © Peter Finer MMVIII Editor: Stephen Wood Photography: Christopher Challis Design: David Bonser Origination: De Montfort Origination Printed and Bound in England at the De Montfort Press by Raithby, Lawrence & Company Ltd.


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Table of Contents


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1.

A MEDIEVAL HORSE-HARNESS PENDANT, circa 1325

2.

AN ENGLISH ROYAL ARMORIAL PANEL, circa 1474–83

3.

A NORTHERN EUROPEAN PURSE-FRAME, circa 1490

4.

AN ENGLISH ROYAL ARMORIAL PANEL, circa 1510

5.

A NORTH GERMAN HEAVY FIELD ARMOUR, dated 1549

6.

A PAIR OF AUSTRIAN BRONZE FIELD GUNS, circa 1550

7.

A SOUTH GERMAN TOURNEY ARMOUR, circa 1550–5

8.

A FRENCH HUNTING TROUSSE, circa 1575

9.

A GERMAN TWO-HANDED BEARING SWORD, circa 1580

10. A GERMAN TOURNAMENT HELMET, circa 1580 11. A SOUTH GERMAN WHEELLOCK PISTOL, circa 1585 12. A PAIR OF SOUTH GERMAN WHEELLOCK PISTOLS, dated 1586 13. AN ITALIAN DAGGER FOR THE LEFT HAND, circa 1600 14. A GERMAN MUSKET-REST HEAD, circa 1605 15. A BRACE OF ALSATIAN WHEELLOCK PISTOLS, circa 1605 16. A FRENCH WHEELLOCK PISTOL, circa 1612 17. A CENTRAL EUROPEAN ALABASTER EFFIGY, circa 1615 18. A PAIR OF SWISS FLINTLOCK PISTOLS, circa 1650 19. AN OTTOMAN TROUSSE, dated 1657–8 20. A GERMAN SWORD OF JUSTICE, dated 1664 21. A GERMAN PORTRAIT OF AUGUST II, dated 1666 22. A PAIR OF TURKISH MIQUELET-LOCK PISTOLS, circa 1680 23. A SINHALESE SMALLSWORD, circa 1680


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24. A FRENCH MODEL BRONZE CANNON, circa 1694 25. A ROYAL BRITISH OR HANOVERIAN HUNTSMAN’S SATCHEL, circa 1714–27 26. A NORTHERN INDIAN SMALLSWORD, circa 1760 27. A BRACE OF ENGLISH FLINTLOCK PISTOLS BY WILLIAM JOVER, circa 1776 28. AN IRISH GORGET AND SHOULDER-BELT PLATE, 1780–83 29. A FRENCH ‘PRISONER-OF-WAR’ SHIP MODEL, circa 1793–1801 30. AN ENGLISH CASED VOLLEY RIFLE BY HENRY NOCK, 1796 31. A FRENCH PRESENTATION BLUNDERBUSS BY BOUTET, 1798 32. A PAIR OF ENGLISH CASED FLINTLOCK TARGET PISTOLS BY H. W. MORTIMER, 1813 33. AN ENGLISH CASED DOUBLE-BARRELLED PERCUSSION PISTOL BY W. F. MILLS, circa 1837–43 34. A FRENCH MODEL ARMOUR FOR MAN AND HORSE BY E. GRANGER, circa 1850 35. AN AUSTRIAN-BOHEMIAN HUNTING HORN, circa 1850 36. A RUSSIAN EXHIBITION OR PRESENTATION KASTANE, 1850 37. A SPANISH CUCHILLO DE MONTE IN THE MANNER OF EUSEBIO ZULOAGA, circa 1850 38. AN AMERICAN GOLD PRESENTATION WALKING-STICK MOUNT, dated 1855 39. AN ENGLISH PRESENTATION SABRE BY HENRY WILKINSON, 1856 40. A FRENCH EXHIBITION HUNTING SWORD BY P. JOUHAUD, circa 1860 41. A JAPANESE KAKAE ZUTSU (HAND CANNON), dated 1864 42. AN ITALIAN BRONZE BY G. FRANZOSI, MILAN, 1874


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1. A Fine Medieval Heraldic Horse-Harness Pendant, circa 1325

In cast copper alloy with fire-gilt and champlevé enamel decoration, the pendant in the form of a quatrefoil with points between the leaves, chased with the stylised image of a gold dragon, breathing red fire, upon a green ground, the whole attached by a loop hinge to a copper-alloy fitting pierced for attachment to a harness strap. Height: 3 3⁄4 in

Width: 2 3⁄8 in

Our fine pendant once decorated the horse-harness of a medieval knight or great magnate and would have been attached to the peytral, or chest strap, or to the upper bridle strap of his caparisoned horse. Its decoration implies that it must originally have been a very grand item and since there would have been several of these decorative pendants, swinging as the horse moved and catching the light with the gilt and enamel surfaces of their badges, the result must have been very splendid and reflective of the grandeur of their original owner. Our pendant is decorated with what may have been an element of its original owner’s heraldry: a gold fire-breathing dragon. Because of their mythical status and terrible power, dragons were used as heraldic ‘charges’ from the earliest days of heraldry and appear throughout Europe on shields and as both crests and supporters of shields of Arms. The artist who created this splendid pendant has used a great deal of imagination in the creation of his dragon since it lacks its two fore-feet and also its tail. This is an indication that the pendant was created before the science of heraldry laid down too precisely what form the heraldic dragon should take. The fine chiselling of the scales and wings of the dragon and the quality of the gilding and enamel work are all indications that our pendant came from the workshop of a master craftsman and was commissioned by someone well able to afford metalwork of the highest quality to decorate his horse and thus advertise his social status. Literature:

Finlay, M., ‘Mediaeval Harness Pendants’, The Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, vol. VI, (June 1998), pp. 25–31.


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2. A Magnificent and Extremely Rare English Royal Armorial Panel, circa 1474–83 Carved from a single piece of oak with a flat back, the front bearing a shield charged with the Arms of His Royal Highness Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, and his wife, Anne Neville, Duchess of Gloucester, with supporters. The panel pierced with several old holes for wall-mounting and fitted with a ring for suspension. Height: 11 3⁄4 in

Width: 17 1⁄2 in

Our splendid and evocative armorial panel in English oak represents one of the few known contemporary representations of the Arms of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester between their marriage, in about 1474, and their accession to the throne of England – as King Richard III and Queen Anne – in 1483. Its shape and size suggest that it may once have formed part of an heraldic decorative frieze or part of a screen formed of heraldic and decorative panels in the late Gothic style. The heraldry depicted on our panel is unique to Richard of Gloucester following his marriage and prior to his accession as king. His Arms – ‘quarterly France modern and England’ with a label ‘for difference’ (indicating his position as a son of England’s ruling house) – occupy the ‘dexter’ half of the shield (the right side of the shield but the left side as viewed); those of his wife, Anne Neville, occupy the ‘sinister’ half. Such Arms are termed ‘impaled’ in heraldic parlance and indicate a marital alliance. Anne’s Arms are quite complex since her family boasted descent from a large number of British noble families and the Arms of the most important of those families are marshalled on her half of the shield, it being quartered as follows: 1, Beauchamp impaling Newburgh; 2, Montague impaling Monthermer; 3, Neville; 4, Clare impaling Despenser. The original colours of the Arms of both Richard and Anne can be seen in the Writhes Garter Book in the possession of His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry – which shows the couple as King and Queen in their coronation robes of 1483 – although it seems unlikely that our panel was ever painted. The supporters of the Arms on our panel are, dexter, a boar and, sinister, a griffin. The badge of a white boar was one long associated with Richard of Gloucester – as the name of several English public houses, inns and hotels still testifies – and his Arms as king were supported by a pair of white boars. Anne’s father, Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and 6th Earl of Salisbury (1428–71), ‘the kingmaker’, used a griffin as one of the supporters of his Shield of Arms and so the use of a griffin as the sinister supporter in this instance is entirely consistent with heraldic practice. Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester and King of England as Richard III (1452–85), has inspired widely differing historical judgements ever since his own time: in 1920, the Richard III Society was established, specifically dedicated to the rehabilitation of his memory; the society considers he was foully blackened by the caricature of him king in the eponymous play by William Shakespeare written circa 1591–4. As the loser in what proved to be the final battle of the English Wars of the Roses – Bosworth in 1485 – Richard was always going to suffer at the hands of the propagandists for the winner, the Lancastrian claimants to the throne in the form of the Tudor dynasty established by King Henry VII in 1485, if only on the basis of the well-known saying that ‘history is


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written by the winners’. The truth, whatever that is in historical terms, is far more complex and closely bound up with the undeniable fact that fifteenth-century England was riven for several decades by civil wars between rival claimants to the throne and that Richard of Gloucester, a prime mover in the Yorkist cause, succeeded in becoming king and remaining so for only two years. His reputation will always suffer from the disappearance, while in his charge, of the young Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York – the ‘Princes in the Tower’ – and, with no satisfactory explanation for that disappearance having been forthcoming, it seems likely that the two boys were murdered at his orders. Contests for supremacy within Royal families and with the connivance of the nobility were endemic in medieval Europe and in this respect England was no different from the rest of the continent. Murder, war and arranged marriage inevitably featured in these dynastic struggles and our panel is evocative of that turbulent period in English history – when a Royal prince with dynastic ambitions and little in the way of conscience clawed and married his way to the throne by disposing of and discrediting any opposition and by marrying a well-connected woman from an ambitious family. The life of Anne Neville (1456–85) has not been much studied but it is known that she was a pawn in the contemporary game of dynastic intrigue being played by her father and his Royal patrons. As differing factions gained the throne during the Wars of the Roses, so people like Anne found themselves alternately on the winning and the losing side as their factions’ fortunes waxed and waned. Married initially to Edward, Prince of Wales and son of King Henry VI, in 1470, Anne was widowed by Edward’s death at the battle of Tewkesbury in 1471, at which decisive battle her father, the Earl of Warwick, was also killed. With the Yorkist faction in the ascendant Anne’s position was precarious, but her noble birth and inheritance made her an attractive marital prospect for the ambitious Richard of Gloucester and so the couple married in about 1474. Although she produced an heir, Edward, in about 1476, Anne’s health was never robust and she sickened and died in March 1485, not living to see her husband, the king, lose his life and his throne at the battle of Bosworth in August of that year. Although the precise function of our magnificent late medieval Royal armorial panel may never be known, it evokes a turbulent period in English history and is without doubt an extremely important contribution to the heraldic iconography of England’s last Yorkist monarch and his queen. Literature:

Cunningham, Sean, Richard III, a Royal Enigma, (London, 2003). Tudor-Craig, Pamela, Richard III, (London, 1973).


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3. A Fine and Rare Northern European Purse-Frame, circa 1490 The principal components being formed of two pieces of curved iron forming a cantle, turning on baluster bolts to hinge at both ends, the front section fitting inside the back section and both sections and their mounts retaining traces of gilding; the front section pierced along the lower front edge with a line of holes for the attachment of the bag and chiselled and pierced with two panels of decorative scrolling branches and foliage flanking a cowled mask, all below a raised roped upper border; the back section also pierced along the lower back edge with a line of holes for the attachment of the bag, chiselled and pierced with two panels of scrolling branches and foliage on the top and applied, at the centre of the top, with a representation of a Gothic casket-reliquary flanked by two-storyed square towers, the reliquary and towers cast, chiselled and pierced on the front with panels of Gothic tracery, the towers similarly pierced on the back and topped with tonsured busts, the front of the reliquary incorporating robed figures beneath round corner towers and a robed figure in a niche beneath a pierced loop on which hinges the broad belt swivel, chiselled and pierced at the front with panels of Gothic tracery en suite with those decorating the centre and flanking towers of the reliquary and pierced with an aperture at the back; the two sections closing on two studs secured by sliding and sprung bolts secured inside the back section by leaf springs and activated by two lobed protrusions flanking the towers of the reliquary and a baluster on the right side stud secured by the right-hand lobe. Now fitted with a later silk velvet bag. Height: 9 in

Width: 7 1⁄8 in

Depth: 1 1⁄2 in

Our fine and beautifully made purse frame would once have been worn by a rich merchant or perhaps – given its symbolism – a magnate of the Church. Typical of the type of richly cast, chiselled and pierced small ironwork made in Flanders and northern France at the end of the fifteenth century, parallels may be found to its decorative style among a collection of similar work, in the form of locks and other fittings for chests, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; a very similar purse frame, fitted with a leather purse, is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (The Cloisters Collection, 52.121.2). Prior to the invention of the sewn-in pocket in the mid-eighteenth century, most people carried their portable valuables in purses, or in pockets that were tied to their person or to their clothes. Although purses were worn by both sexes, they were principally a male costume accessory since, traditionally, men were the keepers and users of cash and the transactors of business. Purses could be worn on shoulder belts, in the same way as haversacks or the other ‘necessary bags’ needed by all ranks of society prior to the invention of the sewn-in pocket and these are depicted as being worn, from shoulder belts as well as from waist belts, by men of all ranks of society in a variety of illustrations from the early Middle Ages to the sixteenth century and beyond. They appear on a mid-fourteenth-century misericord depicting ball-players in Gloucester Cathedral, in a late fifteenth-century stained glass roundel depicting a seed-sewer and symbolising the month of October (Victoria and Albert Museum, 134.1931), in an engraving of 1498 depicting a serving man at a lord’s table from a French Book of Hours (British Library, IA.40335), in a late fifteenthcentury stained glass panel depicting a rich man clothing a pauper in Holy Trinity Church, Tattershall, Lincolnshire, in a painted depiction of 1455 depicting Egfrith, the seventh-century


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King of Northumberland and husband of St Etheldreda (Society of Antiquaries of London, S.11) and on a memorial brass of circa 1525 from the Southern Netherlands and commemorating Thomas and Emme Pownder of Ipswich (Ipswich Borough Council Museums and Galleries, R.1948.270). The purses depicted vary from those with metal frames, such as ours, to those which are no more than large pouches, closed with a simple drawstring, sometimes having the drawstring covered with a large flap of cloth or leather. References to purses in the literature of the period are rare, one of the few being even rarer in that it refers to a purse worn by a woman, albeit the wife of a craftsman, the carpenter’s wife in Chaucer’s Miller’s Tale, one of The Canterbury Tales of the 1390s: and by hir girdel heeng a purs of lether tasselled with silk and perled with latoun The quality of one’s purse inevitably reflected the size of one’s income and social status and men of the mercantile class are those most frequently depicted wearing richly decorated purses, while those of the knightly class are hardly ever so depicted – there being an implicit barrier between nobility and trade and the merchant’s purse taking, perhaps, the place of the knight’s sword in establishing the social status of the figure depicted. By the late fifteenth century, the period when our fine iron-topped purse was made and worn, there seem to have been two distinct types of metal purse-frame in use in northern Europe: both of these were intended to be worn from waist belts and both seem to have been used at the same time. One was like ours, where the frame forms the mouth of the purse and clips together – not unlike a woman’s handbag of today, and the other, involving the edges of the purse being sewn to two concentric hoops, closing with a drawstring and with a further hoop holding a decorative flap that covered the closed purse beneath – similar to a Highland Scottish sporran. The latter type of purse is depicted on two well-known memorial brasses, that of John Browne the Younger of Stamford, Lincolnshire, who died in 1475 (All Saints Church, Stamford), and that of Thomas Andrewes of Charwelton, Northamptonshire, who died in 1490 (Holy Trinity Church, Charwelton); it is also shown in a portrait of Browne in a Book of Hours that he commissioned from Bruges in the 1460s (Free Library of Philadelphia, Widener MS 3) and in a portrait by Petrus Christus (1444–76) of a young man at prayer (National Gallery, London, 2593). In the case of the example depicted in the Petrus Christus portrait, the purse frame is elaborately and clearly decorated with Gothic architectural detail similar in style to that found on our purse frame. A purse frame in copper alloy similar to that in the Petrus Christus portrait and dated to circa 1450 was acquired by the British Museum in 1998 (British Museum, MME 1998.10-11): its architectural detail as well as its Gothic piercing and chiselling is remarkably like that found on our example. The very close similarity between the decoration on our purse frame to that on other items of late fifteenth-century French and Flemish ironwork in the Victoria and Albert Museum, for example, a lock for a chest, French, circa 1520, (no. 5704–1859) and another lock, for a chest or a door, French, fifteenth or sixteenth century, (no. 589–1895), places our purse frame in the last decade of the fifteenth century. Its size implies that its original bag was used to contain coin and small, folded documents and the detailed ecclesiastical nature of its decoration, with the principal part resembling either a casket-reliquary, a chrismatory (a container for ‘chrism’, the sacred mixture of oil and balsam used for ritual anointing) or a Gothic shrine: this strongly implies that it may have been made for and used by a magnate of the Church, such as the abbot of a rich monastery.


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Literature:

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Alexander, J. and Binski, P., Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200–1400, (London, 1987), pp. 123, 225, 248–9 and 358. Cherry, J., Review of the National Art Collections Fund 1998, p. 72 and Minerva, January–February 1999, pp. 6–7. Davenport, M., ‘Items of Costume and Costume Accessories’ in The Secular Spirit: Life and Art and the End of the Middle Ages, (New York, 1975), pp. 74–84, pls. 90a and 90b. Marks, R. and Williamson, P. (eds.), Gothic: Art for England 1400–1547, (London, 2003), pp. 274, 277, 297, 329, 345, 404, 413, 428, 430 and 444.


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Henry VII and Henry VIII by Hans Holbein 1537. National Portrait Gallery, London


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4. A Fine and Rare English Royal Armorial Panel, circa 1510 Formed of two light-oak boards, the front carved with the Royal Arms of King Henry VII or King Henry VIII of England, retaining much of its original colouring, with old holes for attachment to a wall and contained within a later frame. Height: 18 1⁄2 in

Width: 18 1⁄2 in

Our beautifully carved oak panel contains the Royal Arms of England as borne by the father and son who were the first two Tudor monarchs of England and who reigned from 1485 to 1509 and from 1509 to 1547. Both monarchs used similar Arms, with similar supporters and similar badges but the style of the carving of the Arms places our panel firmly in the first two decades of the sixteenth century. English monarchs had borne ‘gules, three lions passant guardant in pale or’ (three gold lions on a red field) as their Arms since the reign of Richard I at the end of the twelfth century and these Arms were borne alone until 1340 when Edward III quartered the Arms of France, ‘azure, seméde-lys or’ with those of England to express his claim to the throne of France during the early stages of the Hundred Years War. These Arms of France – which were a powdering of fleur-de-lys on a blue field – were retained until about 1400 when the number of lily flowers was reduced to three and it was in that form that the Arms of France were retained by successive English, and subsequently British, monarchs for the next 400 years. The beasts that ‘support’ the Royal Shield of Arms tended to change with each monarch until the seventeenth century and both Henry VII and his son used a variety of supporters, among which were the two shown supporting the shield on our panel, the ‘dexter’ supporter being a red dragon and the ‘sinister’ one being a silver or white greyhound – although no traces of the colouring of the latter survive. The Royal crown that surmounts the shield is typical of that used in English Royal heraldic decoration in the sixteenth century and the Garter that surrounds the shield reflects the fact that both monarchs were sovereigns of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, England’s senior Order of Chivalry founded by King Edward III in 1348. Last among the heraldic devices on our panel are the two Royal badges of the chained portcullis and the single fleur-de-lys, both of which were used as personal badges by both monarchs. The red and white roses that are held in the mouths of the Arms’ supporters reflect the joining together of the Lancastrian red rose and the Yorkist white rose in the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York that ended the internecine Wars of the Roses after Henry’s victory at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. As with the Royal Armorial panel of Richard, Duke of Gloucester (item 3 in this catalogue), our panel was probably used as part of an elaborate scheme of interior decoration of the style that became increasingly fashionable from the early sixteenth century. The ending of the Wars of the Roses brought with it an upturn in the English economy and resulted in a growth of housebuilding by the gentry and nobility; at the same time, there was a growth in the interest in and use of heraldry for domestic display. These factors, together with the perceived need to demonstrate allegiance to the new ruling dynasty by those who had profited from their calming influence on internal affairs, probably led to the commissioning of Royal heraldic panels such as ours, as the


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Royal Arms began to be seen increasingly in the decorative details of private houses. Although such private use of the Royal Arms was of course voluntary, it became compulsory in English churches once Henry VIII became head of the Church of England following the split from Rome during the English Reformation and Queen Elizabeth followed the lead of her father and, to a lesser extent, her grandfather, in personally associating herself with the state. Thus, as the sixteenth century progressed, the English Royal Arms came to be much more widely used than hitherto but our finely carved English oak panel is a splendid early example of the practice of displaying the King’s Arms by one of his loyal subjects. Literature:

Cooper, N., The Houses of the Gentry 1480–1680, (London, 1999). Woodcock, T. and Robinson, J. M, Heraldry in National Trust Houses, (London, 2000).


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5. An Exceptionally Fine and Rare Composite North German Heavy Field Armour from the Armoury of Heinrich I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Brunswick, dated 1549 Comprising a close helmet with one-piece skull rising to a high medial comb decorated along its crest with alternating roping and sawtooth projections and fitted at the nape with a tubular plume holder, forward-sloping visor with stepped centrally divided vision slit, prowshaped upper bevor pierced at each side with six diagonal ventilation slots of double-ended keyhole form, bevor pierced at each side with seventeen small circular ventilation holes in rosette formation and two gorget plates front and rear, restored, the visor, upper bevor and bevor attached to the skull by common pivots and secured to one another at the right side by spring catches, partly restored; collar of four lames front and rear; breastplate with medially ridged main plate projecting forward over the belly and pieced at its right side with a pair of holes for the attachment of a lance rest, its arm openings fitted with movable gussets and its lower edge with a waist lame flanged outwards to receive a fauld of two lames and a further detachable lame carrying a pair of pendant one-piece tassets, restored; backplate formed of a main plate fitted at its lower edge with a waist lame flanged outwards to receive a culet of two lames; small symmetrical pauldrons with ‘puffed’ upper ends, each formed of six lames overlapping outwards from the third which is pierced at the front with a pair of lace holes for the attachment of a circular besagew, restored, and decorated at its outward-flanged lower edge with a series of scallops; articulated vambraces each formed of a tubular upper cannon with a turner of three lames; winged bracelet couter of three lames and a tubular lower cannon decorated at its lower edge with a series of scallops; mitten gauntlets each formed of a flared and pointed cuff, its inner plate restored, four metacarpal plates, a boldly roped knuckle plate, five finger plates and a hinged thumb defence, restored; cuisses each formed of a gutter-shaped main plate fitted at its upper edge with a short extension plate and at its lower edge with a winged poleyn of five lames and tubular greaves each fitted at the heel with a projecting rowel spur and cut at the front with an arch to accommodate a broad-toed sabaton of eleven lames decorated medially with a roped rib and to either side of its final lame with a whorl; the main edges of the armour roped and its surfaces finely etched on a stippled and blackened ground with bands and borders of running foliage inhabited by stylised flowers, birds, animals of the chase, putti, grotesques, winged hearts and classical busts framed within wreaths; the decoration on the breastplate involving, in its ogee-shaped upper border, the date 1549 surmounted by the inscription was • got • gibt • hilft • kein • niet/was • got • nicht • gibt/hilft • kein • arbeit flanked by cherubs in classical cuirasses and, in its central band, a crowned figure holding a harp, identified as david; that on the backplate involving, in its ogee-shaped upper border, the date 1549 and, in each of its three vertical bands, warriors in contemporary armour respectively identified as hector va droi, gros alexande r and ivlivs cesar, the second figure overlaid with a shield charged with a griffin; the recessed main borders of the armour in most cases enclosed by a pair of narrow grooves of which the inner is typically etched with a repeated pattern of circular pellets separated by pairs of dots, the subsidiary borders of the helmet, collar, cuirass, pauldrons and leg harness etched with narrow bands of cabling. Height including plinth: 89 in

Weight: 55 lb


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In its heyday, the mid- to late sixteenth century, the Wolfenbüttel Zeughaus (arsenal), situated on the River Oker eight miles to the south of the ancient city of Brunswick, would have been among the best stocked arsenals in Europe. In addition to the vast quantities of more or less plain arms kept there by the Dukes of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel for issue to their troops and private bodyguards, it is known to have housed the fine armours commissioned by them for their own use. As the records show, numerous of these fine armours remained in Wolfenbüttel – the seat of the dukes from 1432 to 1753 – into the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. However, with the overthrow of the Kings of Hanover, successors to the Dukes of Brunswick, by the Prussians in 1866, orders were given for the Zeughaus to be cleared. As a result, a proportion of its most valuable contents were taken away to decorate the ducal residence of Schloss Blankenburg in the Harz Mountains, while other pieces were deposited in the Herzoglischen Museum in Brunswick (now the Landesmuseum). The remainder was sold in 1868 for 20 Talers per hundredweight to a Hildesheim dealer who soon afterwards disposed of it through the London market. In 1945, prompted by the westward advance of Soviet troops across Germany, the Blankenburg collections were removed by the Princes of Hanover to safer accommodation in Schloss Marienburg, near Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, where they remained until a few years ago. Our finely embellished armour was widely acknowledged as the chief treasure of those collections. Dr Robert Bohlmann, when reviewing the contents of the Blankenburg armoury in 1914, devoted no less than four illustrations to it, while another two were included by him in his posthumous paper of 1944 on the Brunswick school of armourers. The Blankenburg collections, as Bohlmann was the first to appreciate, provided the largest surviving corpus of evidence for the study of that then little-known but highly distinguished school of craftsmen.


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With its ready access to the rich mineral deposits of the nearby Harz Mountains, the city of Brunswick had already become an important centre for metalworking by 1293 when Duke Henry of Brunswick formally ratified the privileges of its smiths. The craft of the armourer may very well have been practised there even at that early date. From 1303 on, references to the trades of Helmsleger (helm forger), Platenschleger, (armour forger), Platenmekere (armour maker) and Harneschmeker (harness maker), became increasingly frequent in the city’s records. The Brunswick armourers achieved their highest standing in the reigns of Heinrich I (1489–1568) and Julius (1528–89), successive Dukes of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. As Samuel Kriechel observed, following his visit to Brunswick in 1585, ‘In the said city many arms and armours are made such as defensive armours and similar things like bits, stirrups and spurs.’ Evidence of the importance of the armourers within the Smiths’ Guild of the city is provided by the latter’s ordinances of 1555 and 1598 which detailed the types of armour that might be accepted by them as masterpieces. Of particular value to the study of the Brunswick school of armourers are its dated products. The earliest of them now recorded appears to be the armour of Philipp I, Landgrave of Hessen, in the Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, Vienna (inv. no. A 348), which bears the date 1534. This is followed by the breastplate of a composite armour formerly in the Marienburg collections, dated [15]56. The dates 1562, 1563 and [15]64 occur respectively on the breastplates of composite armours now preserved in the Memorial Art Gallery of Rochester University, New York State (sold to the gallery by us in 2006), the collection of Her Majesty The Queen at Windsor Castle (cat. no. 111) and the C. O. von Kienbusch Collection of Arms and Armor in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (acc. no. 1977.167.22). Our armour, bearing the date 1549 on both its breastplate and backplate, is an important early member of this series.


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Among armourers likely to have been active in Brunswick around 1549 were Frans Quermeyer, first recorded in 1552, Claus Oldenkorn, first recorded in 1554, Cuntz Hildebrandt, first recorded in 1555, Jacob Koep, first recorded in 1561, and perhaps also the brothers Claus and Wulf Gabriel, first recorded in 1562. These last, together with their uncle Hans, recorded 1506–42, and their father Claus the Elder, recorded 1513–41, made up Brunswick’s most distinguished dynasty of armourers. Claus the Elder received employment from the Court at least as early as 1537/8: this was a privilege that was in due course extended to his two sons as well, with Wulf in 1572 taking up appointment as personal armourer to Duke Julius and overseer of the Wolfenbüttel Zeughaus. Unfortunately, as the extant products of the Brunswick armourers bear no makers’ marks, their attribution to a specific hand must, for the moment, remain a matter for speculation, particularly in the case of those made before 1568, when the ducal account books are only patchily preserved. Slightly better evidence exists with regard to the etchers of those armours, who in two cases at least are known to have identified their works with their initials. The so-called ‘Giant’ armour in the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London (Inv. No. II.22), believed to have been made in Brunswick about 1540, is signed in the decoration of its backplate with the monogram b beneath an a: perhaps alluding to the Brunswick artist Bonaventura Abt (or Abbet), recorded 1518–52. Abt is known to have received employment from both Duke Heinrich the Younger of BrunswickWolfenbüttel and the city of Brunswick. Of particular significance in this context is the fact that in 1535 he was paid 4 gulden for ‘painting’ (presumably etching) an armour for the Margrave Joachim of Brandenburg, then resident in Wolfenbüttel. A few years later, in 1541, Claus Gabriel the Elder, already mentioned above, appointed him as second guardian to his children, suggesting a close relationship between the artist and the armourer. Similarly, an armour in the Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, Vienna (Inv. No. A396), thought to have been worn by Duke Heinrich at the Battle of Kehlefeld in 1545, is etched on its helmet with the decorator’s signature i.f.b.i: conceivably relating to the Brunswick artist Franz Bock (also Buch, Buock or Bock), recorded 1550–78. Among other things, he is known to have etched a Pickelhaube (spiked helmet) for the ducal armourer Jacob Koep in 1561. It is perhaps not unreasonable in those circumstances to speculate that either Abt or Bock might have had a hand in the decoration of our armour. Certainly, both appear to have worked on Court commissions in the relevant period. The two etchers referred to above would very likely have been members of the Brunswick painters’ guild. In 1566 the guild noted that among other things that could be accepted as the masterpiece of an etcher was a ‘heavy field armour [Curitz] or light field armour [Drabharnisch] etched, and further an embossed piece of armour gilt’, suggesting that the decoration of armour had become a significant source of employment in the city by that date. The Brunswick armour-etchers of the mid-sixteenth century were artists of the highest order. Unlike their south German contemporaries, they tended to disdain the use of gilding and made only minimal use of repeated patterns. Their characteristically rich and busy style involved an unusual mixture of biblical, classical, sporting and heraldic subjects drawn from the diverse graphic works of such notable artists as Cornelius Bos, Virgil Solis and Cornelius Floris. Our armour shows this Brunswick style at its very best. Dominating the religious elements of its decoration is the pious inscription was got gibt hilft kein niet, was got nicht gibt hilft kein arbeit (What God gives no envy can take away, what God does not give no effort can gain), contained within a rectangular cartouche at the centre of the upper frieze of its breastplate. The figure of David occupying the central band below this frieze reinforces this religious theme as does the repeated device of the winged heart symbolising the Holy Spirit. On the backplate, however, the theme changes to a


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classical one with representations of the military heroes Hector of Troy, Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar. Classical busts occur at several points in the decoration of the armour. The figure of Alexander the Great is overlaid with a shield charged with a griffin, part lion and part eagle. This heraldic device was undoubtedly chosen for a purpose. According to legend, Alexander, when leading his army into India, was attacked by a flock of griffins that caused the death of some of his men. Impressed by these fearsome beasts, he set about capturing four of them, using meat as bait. Chaining them to his chariot, he suspended more meat just above their heads to induce them to fly upwards. Eventually, however, they flew so high that the sun started to burn their wings, forcing them to return to earth. The decoration of our armour unfortunately contains no heraldic devices that would serve to identify its original owner. There is nevertheless reason to believe that the latter would have been a member of the family of Duke Heinrich rather than simply one of his entourage. Of some significance in this context is the notable length of the greaves of the armour. Greaves of a similar proportion are recorded as part of a composite Brunswick armour of about 1540 in the Wallace Collection, London (cat. no. A 31), while even larger ones occur as part of the previously mentioned ‘Giant’ armour of about the same date in the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London (Inv. No. II.22) and made for a man of about 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) in height. Parts of an almost identical giant armour were until recently preserved in the collections of Schloss Marienburg, together with a massive pair of plain greaves and sabatons of about 1530. Closely resembling our armour is one bearing in its decoration the monogram of Duke Heinrich’s third son and eventual successor, Duke Julius. Formerly preserved in the Musée de l’Armée, Paris (cat. no. G 53), but since 1945 held as war-booty in Moscow, it is recorded as being 6 ft 4 1⁄2 in (1.94 m) in height. It appears then, from the evidence of these armours, that a tendency towards gigantism existed within the family of Duke Heinrich. The long greaves of our armour – made for a man about 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) in height – are perhaps to be seen as a further reflection of that tendency. The armour dates from a crucial period in the history of the duchy of Brunswick, when it changed – despite stern resistance from Duke Heinrich himself – from a Catholic to a Protestant state. At this time of strife, when the eldest two sons of the duke lost their lives in battle, every effort would have been made to keep at hand sufficient arms to meet all possible military contingencies. These would have been kept in the Wolfenbüttel Zeughaus, for over three centuries the home to our armour. Provenance:

The Armoury of the Dukes of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and their successors, the Kings and Princes of Hanover, successively housed in the Wolfenbüttel Zeughaus, Schloss Blankenburg and Schloss Marienburg, Lower Saxony.

Exhibited:

Exhibition of Arms, Armour and Militaria lent by H. R. H. The Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg at the Tower of London 1952–3, cat. no. 9, pp. 3–4, pls III and V.

Literature:

Bohlmann, Robert, ‘Die Braunschweigischen Waffen auf Schloss Blankenburg am Harz’, Zeitschrift für Historische Waffenkunde, vol. VI, (1914), pp. 343–4, figs 12–15. Bohlmann, Robert, ‘Braunschweigischen, Die Waffenschmiede von Nord Deutschland’, Zeitschrift für Historische Waffenkunde, vol. VIIII, (1914), p. 92, figs 3–4.


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6. A Rare and Important Pair of Austrian Bronze Field Guns bearing the Arms of Katzenelnbogen, probably by Hans Christoph Löffler, Innsbruck, circa 1550 Long, slender and elegant bronze barrels, each with a long handle in place of the cascabel button, the face of the cascabel having cast acanthus-leaf decoration running around the root of the handle. The plain base ring with a raised notched back sight. The vent field with a vent cover, missing on one gun, hinging to the left, engaging on a drilled locking lug on the right and separated from the reinforce by a moulding, the reinforce being divided in two by similar mouldings. The first reinforce cast within a victory wreath with a shield charged with a coroneted lion rampant guardant; the second reinforce plain and carrying the naturalistic dolphins and trunnions. Springing forward from the ogee of the second reinforce ring is a series of oak-leaf sprays and beyond these the chase is plain to the muzzle. Either side of the muzzle’s astragal fillet are panels of grotesque foliate ornament; ahead of these, the barrel expands in a series of mouldings to a flat band with raised moulded edges, on top of which is a block foresight; matching mouldings gradually reduce the barrel diameter to the muzzle. Overall length: 58 11⁄16 in

Barrel length: 53 11⁄16 in

Bore: 1 1⁄4 in

Our fine pair of cannon represents a type of field gun that only seems to have been produced in the German-speaking and Habsburg lands for a limited period from the 1540s to the 1560s. Guns of this type are characterised principally by their small calibre and their long-handled cascabels which would have facilitated moving them in battle and show them to be light field pieces. The earliest dated example of the group is an unsigned cannon in the Museum of Artillery in Turin dated 1546 (no. 873); this is followed by a gun bearing the Habsburg Arms and the date 1552 which is in the Army Museum in Istanbul. The latest is a falconet cast by Leonhardt Peringer for the Duke of Bavaria and dated 1566: it is in the Rotunda Museum Woolwich (no. II.13). A number of the guns of this type are associated with the Löffler family: these are characterised by distinctive acanthus decoration on the breech face and by their general shape and decorative programme. At least two of the group were cast by one member of the family, Hans Christoff Löffler. These comprise a cannon in the Museum Carolino-Augusteum, Salzburg, cast for the Prince-Archbishop in 1565, and another, undated, in the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin. Hans Christoff Löffler (1526–97) was a member of a famous dynasty of bronze-founders, casting not only guns but also bells and statuary. Originally, the family name was Leiminger or Laiminger and they came from from Sterzing, near Innsbruck, a centre for the manufacture of horn spoons. In about 1480, Hans Christoff’s grandfather, Peter, moved to Innsbruck and set up a foundry in the suburb of Hötting. He was soon working for the Emperor and was ennobled by Frederick II in 1489. Some time soon after 1500 he changed his name to Löffler (meaning ‘spoonmaker’) to perpetuate the memory of his origins. He died in about 1530. His sons, Gregor, Philipp and Wenzel were all bronze founders in the Imperial service. Gregor (1490–1565) was working for the Emperor by 1513 and was appointed master gunner in 1523 but resigned in 1525 as he did not want to go on active campaigning. In 1524 he had moved to Augsburg, where he stayed for a while as there was insufficient work in Innsbruck. Despite vicissitudes in business he became the most


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revered and famous gunfounder of his day. The family traditions of founding and Imperial service were continued by Gregor’s sons Elias, Hans Christoff and Wenzel. Hans Christoff (1526–97) trained with his elder brother Elias under his father’s tuition in Innsbruck. Their names appear together on bells cast from 1543 onwards. Hans Christoff took on the management of the family foundry on their father’s retirement in 1563 and after their father’s death in 1565 Elias seems to have spent much more of his time enjoying the fruits of his father’s estate than in assisting with the family business, although he did not give up founding completely. Hans Christoff continued to work for the Habsburgs and their allies. He served as master founder to Archduke Ferdinand II of Tirol and cast many guns for Emperors Maximilian II and Rudolph II. He remained active in Innsbruck until the 1580s but in the 1590s he moved east, casting cannon in Prague and later Vienna. He was raised to the nobility in 1591. He died in Vienna in 1597 and was succeed by his son Christoff (1568–1623) who carried on the family gunfounding tradition, although in 1604 he moved to Vienna and sold the family foundry in Innsbruck to the government. Hans Christoff Löffler did more than just cast fine guns. More than thirty bells cast by him for his native Tyrol have been identified, together with a number of tomb sculptures. These include several small figures on the tomb of the Emperor Maximilian in Innsbruck and the bronze memorial plate commemorating his father, Gregor, and his mother: this plate is now in the Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck, and the same museum contains miniatures of Hans Christoff and his wife. Several of Hans Christoff Löffler’s guns have survived, chiefly in the collections in Berlin, Vienna and Istanbul, and many of these were cast for Imperial forces. These include a number of survivors from a series of guns cast for the field forces of Rudolf II in 1586–7 which are decorated with sixteenth-century soldiers – pikemen, cavalrymen, gunners and musketeers. The examples of this group in Berlin were sent from Turkey as a diplomatic gift in the late nineteenth century and they share with ours the acanthus breech face, although they have a spherical button cascabel. In addition, they have similar dolphins and patterns of muzzles but are otherwise not so close to our gun as earlier cannon by Löffler. Another cannon with similar decoration on the breech face is an undated breechloader in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich (no. W 551). Other cannon cast by Hans Christoff include a field piece cast in 1570 in the Berlin Zeughaus (lost in the Second World War), larger-calibre guns for Maximilian II from 1569 and Ferdinand II from 1576 (Heeres-


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geschichtliches Museum, Vienna, Artillery Inv. nos 51, 52 and 53), a plain falconet in Vienna cast for Emperor Rudolf, (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Vienna, Artillery Inv. no. 54) and a falcon with the arms of Count Batthyanyi dated 1579 in Vienna (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Artillery Inv. no. 47). In addition to cannon by Hans Christoff, there is in the Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, (GOS no. AK006665), a falcon cast by his father Gregor Löffler in 1550 for Cardinal Waldburg and this is very similar to our pair offered here. The Berlin gun has an identically decorated cascabel but also has additional acanthus decoration on the tapering shoulder of the handle. Exactly the same decoration is found on another cannon of this type by Gregor: a gun dated 1560 of this type in the Städtisches Museum, Bad Reichenhall. This, more ornate, decoration is also found on a set of twelve cannon known to have been made for Sigmund von Thun, almost certainly in the Löffler foundry in Innsbruck. There is also a pair of falcons dated 1549 in the Historisches Museum, Basel, which have long cascabels but otherwise do not resemble the cannon under discussion. These were ascribed to Philipp Löffler, Gregor’s brother, by Egg but this attribution has not been universally accepted (Historisches Museum, Basel, 1873–13; 1905.4971). Other surviving examples related to this group include a falcon which bears neither date nor inscription in the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich, (no. 2.100) and another two plain ones in the Historisches Museum, Basel. The similarity between guns cast by Hans Christoff Löffler and our pair, offered here, makes it probable that our guns, too, were cast by him. The gun in Berlin by Löffler, mentioned above, has the same decoration on the cascabel face and the same design of pan cover, dolphins and muzzle. It appears that many of the same patterns have been used to cast both the Berlin gun and our pair. Another interesting feature of the Berlin gun is that it is marked on the chase carl gustav wrangel . Carl Gustav Wrangel (1613–76) was commander-in-chief of the Swedish Army in Germany for the last three campaigns of the Thirty Years War, fighting in Bavaria and Württemberg. Subsequently, he commanded Swedish forces on sea and land in the Northern Wars (1655–66). He is best known to arms and armour students for the wonderful collection of contemporary weapons that he amassed at his home, Skokloster Castle, north of Stockholm. The presence of his name on the Berlin cannon strongly suggests that it may have been captured by the Swedes during one of Wrangel’s campaigns in southern Germany.


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Even closer in form to our pair is the unsigned cannon in the Museum of Artillery in Turin dated 1546 (no. 873), mentioned above. This has exactly the same decoration on the cascabel and handle as our guns have. In addition, there are two other guns of this group known that bear the same Arms as our pair. They are now in the collection of the Real Armería, Madrid (no. 4643) and are virtually identical to our pair, with exactly the same decoration on the cascabel face and handle and the same design of pan cover, dolphins and muzzle: they are almost certainly also by Löffler. One of them comes from the historic Spanish Royal collections and the other came to the museum from the armoury of the Duke of Osuna in 1911. It seems highly probable that these two passed into Habsburg ownership during the religious wars that devastated northern Europe in late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. In the absence of any evidence of petra sancta (the heraldic system by which colours are represented by shading) on the Arms cast into the cannon an absolutely firm identification of the arms is not possible. However, the Arms are almost certainly those of the Rhine-Palatinate county of Katzenelnbogen. This heraldic charge of a coroneted lion rampant guardant also appears in the second quarter of the Arms of the Princes of Orange Nassau, Stadtholders (Governors) of the United Provinces, who were rulers of Katzenelnbogen, or claimed to be so, until 1557. The town of Katzenelnbogen, most famous as being the first place where the Riesling grape was recorded and located in the Federal German state of Rheinland-Pfalz, grew around a castle built on the heights above the River Lahn in the eleventh century. The Counts of Katzenelnbogen rose to great importance in the Middle Ages and acquired some very valuable customs rights on the River Rhine. When the family died out in 1479 rule of the county was disputed by the rulers of Nassau (and subsequently Orange-Nassau) and Hesse. In the early Middle Ages the state of Hesse, in what is now western-central Germany formed part of Thuringia but in the second half of the thirteenth century gained its independence and became a Landgravinate (a territory ruled by a Landgraf or Count) within the Holy Roman Empire. In the sixteenth century it rose to prominence under the rule of Philip the Magnanimous (1504–67), one of the leaders of the German Reformation and the Schmalkaldic League that from 1530 tied the Protestant states in an alliance. The town of Nassau, now part of Rheinland-Pfalz, grew up on the lower Lahn river in the tenth century and gave its name to the county of Nassau in the twelfth century. In 1255 the county was divided between the sons of Count Henry, Walram and Otto. It was from the county of NassauDillenburg that the House of Orange-Nassau was to emerge. Engelbert I (1370–1442) married a Dutch noblewoman, Countess Johanna of Poland, and inherited lands in the Netherlands, including Breda: thus began the Nassau involvement in the Low Countries. In 1515 Henry III of Nassau-Breda was appointed Stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland by Charles of Ghent. By his marriage to Claudia of Châlon-Orange (1498–1521) in 1515 he became heir to the possessions and titles of the Orange family that had first emerged in the eleventh century. Henry was succeeded by René of Châlon-Orange in 1538 and, when he was killed, childless, in 1544, his lands and the title Prince of Orange passed to his nephew William the Silent, Count of Nassau (1533–84). From then on the family was known as Orange-Nassau. In 1559 William I of Orange-Nassau was appointed Stadtholder of the provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and Burgundy by King Philip II of Spain (1527–98). However, he turned against his Catholic Habsburg masters and became the instigator of the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule in the Netherlands which began in 1568 and ended with independence for the United Provinces in 1648.


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Willem de Rijke (William the Rich, 1487–1559), father of William the Silent, was officially known as Willem van Nassau-Katzenellenbogen but his title hid a complex ebb and flow of real control of the county between Nassau and Hesse. After Hesse’s defeat in the Schmalkaldic War, Katzenelnbogen was awarded to Nassau but it returned to Hessian control in 1552 and in 1557 the arguments were finally settled in Hesse’s favour once and for all. By the Frankfurt Treaty of that year a compromise was reached in which Nassau ceded Katzenelnbogen to Hesse in return for financial and territorial compensations. However, despite their cession of control of Katzenelnbogen, the lion rampant guardant of the county continued to be borne as part of the Arms of the Princes of Orange-Nassau. It appears, for instance, quartered with the arms of Nassau, Vianden and Dietz, on a tunic made for the funeral of Fredrick Henry, Prince of Orange (1584–1647) (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, NG–KOG–42). For these reasons, and given that they could have been made at any time during the period 1550–70, it is not possible to be certain whether our cannon were acquired for the defence of Katzenelnbogen by Hesse or by Orange-Nassau. The combination of politics and religion strongly suggest that William I of Orange-Nassau was far more likely to have access to a foundry in Habsburg lands that largely served the Imperial court and forces than an active enemy like Philip of Hesse. He was, after all, given a major Habsburg appointment in 1559 and did not become an avowed opponent of the Habsburgs until the late 1560s. Despite their Imperial loyalties and positions, the Löfflers did make cannon for others and sometimes these were used against their Imperial masters. Indeed, among the weapons captured in 1547 by the Emperor Charles V at the battle of Mühlberg, when he decisively defeated the Schmalkaldic League and captured Philip of Hesse, were cannon made by Hans Christoff’s father Gregor. It is not, therefore, beyond the bounds of possibility that Philip had the Löffler foundry make him some guns for the defence of Katzenelnbogen. Provenance:

R. J. Wigington Collection.

Literature:

Catálogo General del Museo del Artilleria, vol. 4, (Madrid, 1917), p. 615. MS De Cosson Dictionary of Makers, Royal Armouries Library, Leeds. Egg E., Der Tiroler Geschutzguss, (Innsbruck,1961), pp. 170–92, pls. 66, 79–83, 86–9, 91, 94, 97, 99. Galerie Fischer, Luzern, Gewehrkammer des Fürsten Thun, Schloss Tetschen, 31 August–2 September 1938, lot 1038. Kennard, A. N., Gunfounding and Gunfounders: A Directory of Cannon Founders from Earliest Times to 1850, (London, 1986), pp. 103–5. Meyerson, Å. and Rangström, L., Wrangel’s Armoury, (Stockholm, 1984), p. 8. Müller, H., Deutsche Bronzegeschützrohre 1400–1750, (Berlin 1968) pp. 50–1.


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7. A Fine and Highly Important South German Tourney Armour by Wolfgang Großschedel, Landshut, circa 1550–5 Comprising a close helmet with one-piece skull rising to a high roped medial comb having a replacement plume holder with cusped side bars fixed centrally at the base of the comb, visor pierced beneath the right half of its stepped and centrally divided vision-slit with five vertical ventilation holes, associated prow-shaped upper bevor pierced at its right side with twelve diagonal ventilation slots of double-ended keyhole form, bevor pierced at each side with eleven small circular ventilation holes in rosette formation, the central one at the right side occupied by a rivet serving as the pivot of a visor prop shaped distally as a monster’s head and three gorget plates front and rear, the visor, upper bevor and bevor attached to the skull by common pivots having their heads formed of domed nuts and secured to one another at the right side by spring catches, that for the visor pierced at its rear to receive a combined release and lifting cord; collar of three lames front and rear. Breastplate of early ‘peascod’ form, pierced at its right side with a three holes for the attachment of a lance rest, its neck opening struck with the letter W within a shield, the maker’s mark of Wolfgang Großschedel, and a Landshütl, the quality-control mark of the city of Landshut in the form of a kettle-hat, its arm openings fitted with movable gussets and its lower edge with a waist plate flanged outwards to receive a fauld of one lame supporting on straps and buckles a pair of tassets each of five lames; backplate formed of a main plate fitted at its lower edge with a waist plate flanged outwards to receive a culet of one lame; the breastplate and backplate joined by hinged hasps and studs at their sides; large asymmetrical pauldrons, each of six lames, the right cut away at the armpit to accommodate a lance; articulated vambraces each formed of a tubular upper cannon with a turner of four lames, winged bracelet couter of three lames, the left fitted at its front with a threaded hole for the attachment of a reinforce, and two-piece tubular lower cannon opening at the rear. Associated gauntlets each formed of a flared and pointed cuff with a hinged inner plate, the left struck externally with two crescents and a fir cone, the quality-control mark of the city of Augsburg, and internally with the letter a within a pearled circle, a further mark of the city, eight metacarpal plates, shaped knuckle plate, finger plate and scaled finger and thumb defences, the latter attached by a lateral hinge to the inner end of the last metacarpal plate; cuisses each formed of a short gutter-shaped main plate fitted at its diagonal upper edge with two detachable extension plates and at its lower edge with a winged poleyn of five lames and two-piece tubular greaves each articulated four times at the ankle, its heel cut with a slit to accommodate a spur and its front with an arch to receive an integral square-toed sabaton of ten lames, the last of which is pinched inwards at either side of the toes; the main edges of the armour decorated with file-roped inward turns, and its rivets capped with brass throughout. Height including plinth: 82 in

Weight: 60 lb


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Tournaments, although of a relatively rough and ready character when first introduced in the latter part of the eleventh century, had by the sixteenth century developed into lavishly staged, state-sponsored spectacles, comparable in political importance with the greatest sporting events of the present day. The participants in these spectacles – drawn from the highest levels of society and very much conscious of the image that they projected – would have endeavoured to appear in them attired in armour that was not only safe but also as well made and fashionable as the finery that they wore at court. The production of such specialised forms of armour would have been entrusted only to the hands of the most capable armourers of their day. Our tournament armour, as the marks on its breastplate testify, is from the hands of one of the greatest armourers of all time, Wolfgang Großschedel of Landshut. Interestingly, the earliest record of him is to be found not in his native Germany but in England where, in 1517/8, he was listed as one of several ‘Almain’ or German armourers employed by King Henry VIII in his recently established Royal armour workshop at Greenwich. His stay there must, however, have been a relatively brief one as on 5 February 1520/21 he was admitted a citizen of Landshut. From 1549 he was recorded as the owner of a house in the city’s New Town. Six years later he accepted responsibility for the care of the orphaned children of his fellow Landshut armourer Sigmund Wolf. He died in or shortly after 1562. Wolfgang Großschedel was succeeded by his son Franz, who had been working with him since at least 1555 and was admitted a citizen of Landshut in the following year. In 1566 he was appointed court armourer to Albrecht V, Duke of Bavaria. He died in or shortly after 1578/9, occupying the house in the New Town that he had inherited from his father. No mark is known for him.


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A mark is, however, recorded for his father. Consisting – as seen on our armour – of a shield charged with the initial w, it appears for the first time on the so-called Fico armour of 1529 now divided between the Higgins Armoury Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts, the Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, the Musée Royal de l’Armée, Brussels, and Schloss Löwenburg, near Kassel. It occurs again on a close helmet and shaffron of 1536 in the Würtemburgisches Landesmuseum, Kassel, as well as on other undated pieces of a similar period, including a fluted breastplate in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, an etched armour of Konrad von Bemelberg in the Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, Vienna, and a further etched armour, probably of Pancraz von Freiburg, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, additional elements of which are to be found in the Wallace Collection, London, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Cleveland Museum of Art. The superlative skills demonstrated by Wolfgang in these early works soon earned him patronage at the highest levels. By the mid-sixteenth century he had established himself as the favourite armourer of the future King Philip II of Spain. Of the several fine garnitures produced by him for the latter, two are of particular interest in being datable. The first of them, known as the ‘Burgundy Cross’ garniture and now mainly preserved in the Real Armería, Madrid (cat. nos A263–73), is shown by the records to have been started in April 1551 and to have been partly paid for in May of the following year. The second, known as the ‘Cloud’ garniture and now mainly preserved in the Real Armería, Madrid (cat. nos A243–62), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (acc. no. 04.3.278), includes in its decoration the Royal Arms of England adopted by Philip following his marriage to Queen Mary I in 1554. Franz Großschedel received payment for it on behalf of his father in 1555. A similarly


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decorated garniture in the Real Armería, Madrid (cat. nos A274–6) is believed to have been made for Philip’s son, Prince Don Carlos, in 1558. Probably made even later than this are an extensive series of matching garnitures decorated with the so-called ‘running vine’ motif. Now widely scattered between the Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, Vienna, the Musée de l’Armée, Paris, the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, and numerous other collections, they are thought to have been supplied for use in the great tournament held by the Emperor Ferdinand I in Vienna in 1560. Wolfgang would very likely have received the help of his son in fulfilling the latest of these contracts. Franz’s products, being unmarked, are rather more difficult to identify than those of his father but they must nevertheless have been reasonably numerous. In 1568 he completed six armours for the Bavarian court as well as others for the Emperor Maximilian II. Two years later he had to excuse himself from certain work that he was undertaking for the Elector of Saxony in order to complete a further contract for the Emperor. An exceptionally large payment from the latter to Franz in 1572 probably related to the extensive ‘Rose-leaf’ garniture, now mainly preserved in the Hofjagdund Rüstkammer, Vienna (cat. no. A 474), which is thought to have been made for use in the entertainments associated with the marriage of the Archduke Charles II of Styria to Maria of Bavaria in 1571. From the evidence of this garniture, there is little other than fashion that would serve to distinguish the works of Franz from those of his father. The ‘Rose-leaf’ garniture reflects the fashions of its day in having a ‘peascod’ breastplate and round-toed sabatons.


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Our elegant armour, with its squarer form of sabatons, can be attributed to a somewhat earlier period. Comparison of its details with those of the ‘Burgundy Cross’ garniture of circa 1551 and the ‘Cloud’ garniture of circa 1554 mentioned above suggests that it dates from about 1550–5. Its helmet is of a fairly compact form with three gorget plates front and rear and a circular group of ventilation holes at either side of its bevor. These features, although not exclusive to the Großschedel workshop, are nevertheless very typical of it, especially when found in association with one another. They can be seen, for example, in a helmet belonging to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (acc. no. 04.3.267a), which, aside from being etched with a version of the ‘running vine’ motif discussed above, closely resembles that of our armour. That our armour was for tournament use is indicated both by the presence of a threaded hole for the attachment of a reinforce in the front of its left couter and by the form of its cuisses. Cuisses of this semi-rigid construction, with detachable upper sections, were a standard feature of the midto late sixteenth-century German Stechküriss, a form of armour intended, in conjunction with a suitable array of extra pieces, to see service in both the tourney (Freiturnier) and the tilt (Welschgestech). Our armour, for tourney use, is similar in composition to an etched example from the same workshop, now preserved in the Musée de l’Armée, Paris, (cat. no. G 64). This was plundered by Napoleonic troops from the Imperial Armoury in Vienna in 1805. Although the terms ‘tourney’ and ‘tournament’ are nowadays loosely used to include all forms of mock combat practised in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, they originally referred only to those fought between two groups of mounted contestants armed with swords and lances. As time went by, however, the sporting events that we now term ‘tournaments’ were made more varied in character by adding to them individual jousts and foot combats. In addition, efforts were made to increase their safety by replacing the real weapons that they had formerly employed with blunted or rebated ones. Specialised forms of armour were introduced soon afterwards. The tourney or tournament proper, however, with its close resemblance to real warfare, tended to be fought in what was essentially a heavy field armour, supplemented by a number of reinforces. The use of reinforces reached its height in the first half of the sixteenth century. By the mid-sixteenth century, however, when our armour was made, their number tended to be reduced, although the ‘Burgundy Cross’ and the ‘Cloud’ garnitures of that period still retain both reinforcing bevors and skull reinforces for tourney use among their extant extra pieces. Sixteenth-century tournaments were increasingly dominated by jousts and foot combats, involving only individual contestants. As a parallel to this development, the tourney proper tended to be supplanted by the ‘tourney course’ in which contestants fought one another singly rather than in teams. The traditional tourney proper nevertheless continued to form the concluding event and climax of some of the greatest German tournaments of the mid-sixteenth century. Such an event would have constituted not only a lively and colourful spectacle for those privileged to witness it but also, as in former times, an effective means of preparing its participants for the violent realities of war. Provenance:

A French Private Collection

Literature:

Reitzenstein, A. von, ‘Die Landshuter Plattner Wolfgang und Franz Großschedel’, Münchner Jahrbuch der Bildenen Kunst, vol. V, (1954), pp. 142–53. Spitzlberger, G., Landshuter Plattnerkunst, (Landshut, 1975).


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8. A Very Rare, Fine and Complete French Hunting Trousse contained in its Original Leather Case, circa 1575 Comprising a large and small hand bill, a combined hammer and auger, a pair of scissors, a pair of pincers, a hacksaw, a pivoted tendon-cutter or skinning knife, a bodkin, a combined file, knife and driver and a whetstone. With the exception of the pincers, which are gilt but otherwise plain, the ferrous surfaces decorated with chiselling, etching and gilding, with serpentine leaf scrolls and leafwork repeating throughout most elements; with the exception of the scissors and pincers, all handles have ivory scales either side of the tangs decorated with blackened engraving, the scales joined to the tangs by rivets spaced axially along the centre with, between these, engraved circles giving an impression of a long line of rivets; the handles rise from chiselled and gilt rectangular moulded iron bolsters; with the exception of the scissors, pincers and combined file, knife and driver, all elements with cast brass terminals to the grips consisting of squared capitals decorated with leafwork on which sits an urn, with a similarly decorated base, the sides ornamented with egg-and-dart strapwork and a gadrooned knop finial. In detail the elements are as follows. 1. Combined file, knife and driver: from the bolster springs a rectangular section bar cut on each face as a different type of file and with a gilt moulding at either end, beyond this springs a small bill-like blade; from the middle of the squared upper end of this springs a slender, slightly tapering slab-ended driver, the shoulder of the blade etched and gilded with foliate scrollwork, the back of the blade etched with a single line border and within this with thin running foliate scrollwork like that on the two bills; the driver etched with a panel of intertwined ropework. 2. Pair of pincers: of iron and retaining much original overall gilding; the grips of rounded rectangular section with pronounced convex curves to aid grip; beyond the pivot point the jaws first expand and then curve together; the ends sharpened like chisels. 3. Larger hand bill: the blade with a curved shoulder from the bolster and narrowing very slightly before expanding to a small hook on the front edge; the top rounded, chamfered on one side only and bulging out beyond the back edge before curving in; a rear edge, chamfered on one side only, rising from multiple cuspings and standing a little proud of the line of the back that rises from the bolster; the chamfered sides of the top and back edge etched and gilt with running foliate scrolls and inside the chamfer an ungilded line of thinner running foliate scrollwork; at the shoulder a panel of etched and gilt foliate scrollwork; the sides of the bolster of the handle etched with a circular multipetalled flowerhead; either side of the central spine of the scale grips a panel of decoration, that to the front consisting of double zigzag lines with leafwork in the triangular spaces between and that to the back serpentine foliate scrollwork. 4. Tendon-cutter or skinning knife: a plain rectangular-sectioned arm springing from a gilt baluster moulding and acanthus spray ahead of the bolster; beyond a chiselled baluster finial it expands into a disc etched with a sunburst on each face and split axially to retain a pivoting blade; from shoulders, the sides of the blade diminish and then expand to cusps beyond which they continue to expand in a concave curve to the crescent-shaped edge; the


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sides of the blade etched and gilded with symmetrical foliate scrolls; etched on the sides of the baluster an oval multipetalled flower-head; either side of the central spine of the scales is a panel of engraving, one side decorated with leafwork, the other with crude roping. Pair of scissors: round finger loops with cuspings at the top either side of a small button finial and at the base from between which spring rectangular-sectioned arms with mouldings at either end; from the base of the arms spring the blades which are wide enough to cover each other completely when closed; the two parts of the scissors joined by a rivet with a flat round head; retaining much of their overall gilding, one blade being etched with a trophy of musical instruments, the other with a bow and bow case flanked by a bird and a hare. Smaller hand bill: virtually identical to the larger one but with its rear edge rising from more complex cuspings than that of the larger bill; on the scales the positioning of the panels of decoration reversed and the zigzag line triple not double. Bodkin: a cylindrical arm springing from a gilt moulding beyond the bolster; beyond a further gilt moulding at the end of the arm a circular sectioned spear point pierced with a rectangular slot. Whetstone: attached to the base of the brass urn finial found on most elements of this trousse a sleeved rectangular-sectioned moulding that retains a long, rectangular whetstone with a broken tip, probably made of Belgian Blue limestone from the Ardennes. Hacksaw: frame formed of two rectangular sectioned iron rods springing from chiselled acanthus foliage ahead of the bolster, the longer forming the back and straight until it bends almost at right angles towards the blade; just over half way along the back a baluster moulding with acanthus-leaf sprays at either end; the shorter iron rod forms a short curve; the ends of each rod expanding at the ends where they are split to take the broad sawblade to which they are riveted; both frame and blade are etched and gilt with running foliate scrollwork; etched on the sides of the baluster an oval multipetalled flowerhead; either side of the central spine of the scales a panel of engraved leafwork. Combined hammer and auger: at one end a rectangular sectioned, moulded iron hammer head with tapering, chisel-shaped peen; in the middle a double-ended handle with a bolster at each end, etched on the sides with a circular multipetalled flower-head; at the other end a tapering, screw-threaded auger.

The components enclosed in the compartments of a square-sectioned case of hardened and moulded black leather (cuir bouilli), the removable lid fitting over the top to a wide, thick leather collar; the sides of both lid and collar slit to take a shoulder strap permitting the trousse to be carried and opened with the lid remaining secured; the front of the case longer than the back and the resultant eccentric base, reinforced below a simple moulding, forms a chape; the leather decoratively tooled all over, the sides with double vertical lines giving the impression of fluting with double bands of multiple horizontal lines at the top of the lid, the bottom of the leather collar and the top of the main case beneath it and above and below the chape moulding; the front continues the horizontal lines of the sides and uses the vertical lines as borders that separate the main elements into panels filled with foliate scrolls, the chape decorated with a sunburst; the top of the lid decorated en suite with the front with a winged mask amid foliage, all within a border consisting of a double band of multiple lines. Overall height of case: 14 in

Top: 4 in by 4 in


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Hunting trousses (assemblies of different edged weapons and sometimes other tools usually kept in a specially made case or scabbard) were used in Europe from the fourteenth century until the end of the eighteenth century. Bodkins, files and forceps, as well as knives, are among the earliest and most commonly found tools in such sets. By the end of the fifteenth century two distinct types of hunting trousse had developed: one that consisted of a set of knives, sometimes with a fork, for carving and serving the meat caught during the hunt; the other comprising a set of knives, choppers and other tools for use in the dismembering, in the field, of the animal or animals that had been killed during the hunt. In the late Middle Ages and Renaissance simple, functional trousses are often represented in images as being attached to the belt of a professional huntsman accompanying on foot his mounted master or mistress when hunting. Examples of this include a depiction in The Devonshire Hunting Tapestries, made in the southern Netherlands, dating from 1435–50 and now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and in an etching of a hunting tapestry, dated 1602, by the Flemish artist Peter Candid (circa 1548–1628) and now in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich (no. JM 5765). However, the dismembering of the quarry was an important part of the hunt and one which was not always left to professional hunters. The famous woodcut from the 1575 edition of George Turbervile’s The Noble Arte of Venerie or Hunting shows the huntsman kneeling over the killed stag and offering a knife to Queen Elizabeth I so that she can have the honour of opening the carcass: this was more the rule than the exception. The monarchs and nobility of Europe often involved themselves in the dismemberment of the carcasses of game that they had pursued and seen killed, hence the need for richly decorated yet highly functional sets of tools. There was much ritual involved in the dismembering, ‘unmaking’, ‘breaking’ or ‘undoing’ of the carcass, including the common ritual of the curée (from which comes the English word ‘quarry’) in which the hounds were rewarded by a taste of the prey, usually in the form of bread dipped in blood and mixed with the animal’s chopped offal. It was for such purposes that our trousse was almost certainly produced. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish hunting trousses from similar assemblies of weapons and tools that may have had other purposes. The inventory of the possessions of King Henry VIII drawn up on his death in 1547 included a trousse containing not only the normal tools one would expect – knife, hammer, scissors, pincers and whetstone – but also a pen, a rule and a pair of compasses. This would appear to be more the tool kit of an engineer than that of a hunter, or at the very least that of of a hunter intent on recording the exact details of the size of his kill. A hunting trousse of Elector Johann Georg I of Saxony (1585–1656) in the Historisches Museum, Dresden (no. M 262) has a similar range of tools to that described in the inventory of Henry VIII but also including more knives, a fork and four dividers. A sword of King Frederick II of Denmark (1534–88) at Rosenborg Castle (no. 2–38) also has measuring equipment in its scabbard: it has been suggested, almost certainly correctly, that this sort of trousse was intended for those in charge of loading and aiming artillery on the battlefield. Our trousse belongs to a small and very distinctive group of trousses containing a wider variety of tools than any other type. Trousses of this group have been variously described in the past as hunting or carving sets, veterinarian’s or surgeon’s implements, or the pruning tools of gardeners.


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However, when Henry René d’Allemagne came to write his catalogue of decorative ironwork in the Secq des Tournelles Museum, Rouen, in 1924, he was in no doubt and made a clear distinction between carving, gardening and hunting tools, putting the museum’s set like ours firmly in the latter category. More recently, Claude Blair has produced cogent arguments to suggest that these trousses are, indeed, for use in the dismemberment of hunted game. The nature and variety of the tools themselves suggest that they must be hunting trousses and, on reflection, seem to preclude them from being for carving or for use by surgeons or veterinarians. While some of the tools could be just as useful in the garden as on a hunt, the opulence of their decoration suggest that they were made for use by the rich nobility of Renaissance Europe and there is little evidence that such people generally took part in the activity of gardening, however much they enjoyed the planning of gardens and subsequently relaxing in them. Almost certainly conclusive, too, is the fact that a good many of the implements in the sets of this group are decorated with hunting scenes. One tool that is very unusual, but that is found in most of the trousses of this type, is the pivoting cutter with the crescent-shaped blade. If the purpose of this could be established beyond doubt then no uncertainty would remain about the true function of these unusual and intriguing sets but unfortunately that is not yet possible. Some scholars have thought that they were for peeling bark, others that they are skinning tools and others still that they are tendon-cutters. Of these possibilities the first two seem, by the nature of the tool itself, far less inherently likely than the last. It is not possible to exert cutting force while moving the tool along as one would need to do when removing bark or skin. Rather, it seems designed to make a deep, narrow cut at a particular point. Used in this way, the pivot allows the curved edge to be rocked and pressed down at the same time, thus increasing its cutting force. The suggestion that it was intended for cutting the tendons of hunted prey seems, therefore, to be likely to be correct and it is therefore with considerable confidence that our cased set of implements may be identified as a hunting trousse. Claude Blair has shown that the implements found in trousses like ours belong to a wider group of very distinctive cutlery, including table-knives and daggers, that was made in France in the second half of the sixteenth century. Dated examples range from a hand bill formerly in the Achille Jubinal collection and dated 1557 to a dagger in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, dated 1608. This dagger is itself part of a trousse in a plain black leather case that consists of two knives, a fork and a skewer (acc. no. 54.46.23a–e, gift of Alan Rutherford Stuyvesant, 1954). It had formerly been in the collections of Alessandro Castellani, Fréderick Spitzer and Rutherford Stuyvesant. A significant number of pieces in this group have French inscriptions on their blades, including daggers in the Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor (no. 64), the Wallace Collection, London (no. A 809) and the Musée de l’Armée, Paris (no. I 802) and knives in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (no. 2132–1855) and the Musée de l’Armée, Paris (no. J 801). This latter knife also bears the name of its owner: martin jamart notere du roy a paris. Further evidence to suggest a French origin for this group comes from a a group of table knives in the Musée de Dijon that bear the Arms of the Bouton de Chamilly family and a hand bill in the same museum that bears the Arms of the poet Ponthus de Thiard (1521–1605). Most interesting of all is a set of seven implements similar to ours formerly in the Zschille Collection and now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (acc. nos 64.101.1470–1476, gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964), two of which are inscribed faict a molins ala palme . All but the saw bear a cutler’s mark consisting of three palm fronds and this suggests that these implements, at least, were made in the town of Moulins sur Allier in the Auvergne.


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Other trousses similar to ours, some less complete than others, are to be found in the collections of major European arms museums, including the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds (No. X.269), the Science Museum, London (no. A79088), the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, London (no. R.34908) the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (no. M627–1910) the Musée de l’Armée, Paris (no. I 803), the Historisches Museum, Dresden (no. X 555), the Odescalchi Collection, Rome (nos 304 and 318), the Glasgow Museum and Art Gallery (no. 39–65 NP), the Musée National du Moyen Age, Paris, the Deutsches Klingenmuseum, Solingen, the Musée Masséna, Nice and the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (formerly in the Tsarskoye-Selo arsenal). Of these, only the set in the Royal Armouries Museum, which is dated 1581 and consists of seven elements, appears to survive with its case. This is very similar to ours except that it lacks the extended chape at the base. The leather is tooled with strapwork, foliate scrolls and sunbursts, the wooden compartments inside are lined with red velvet and, on the back, the leather is cut and shaped to form an additional open-topped sheath shaped to take a missing pair of scissors. This remarkable set of implements for dismembering game offered here in its original case is the most complete known and the only one recorded as retaining its whetstone. Literature:

Exhibition Catalogue, Armada 1588–1988, (London, 1988), p. 204. Exhibition Catalogue, Wittelsbacher Jagd, (Munich 1980), p. 8. d’Allemagne, H. R., Decorative Antique Ironwork: a Pictorial Treasury, (New York, 1968), pls. 382–4. Blackmore, H. L., Hunting Weapons, (London, 1971), pp. 56–66. Blair, C., The James A de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor: Arms, Armour and Base-Metalwork (London, 1974), pp. 175–8, 449–54. Cummins, J., The Hound and the Hawk: The Art of Medieval Hunting, (London, 1988), pp. 33, 44–6, 91, 140,144, 149. di Carpegna, N., Antiche Armi dal sec IX al XVIII già Collezione Odescalchi, (Rome, 1969), p. 56. Hackenbroch, Y. (intro.), Bronzes and other Metalwork and Sculpture in the Irwin Untermyer Collection, (New York, 1962) p. 24, pl. 80, fig. 83. Schöbel, J., Jagdwaffen und Jagdgerät des Historischen Museums zu Dresden, (Berlin, 1976), pp. 37, 82, pl. 6. Woolley, L., Medieval Life and Leisure in the Devonshire Hunting Tapestries, (London, 2002), p. 57.


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9. A Magnificent German Two-Handed Bearing Sword Carried by the State Guard of the Dukes of Brunswick, Solingen, circa 1580 With a very elaborate hilt, all metal parts of which are of gilded copper. The urn-shaped pommel formed of an inner iron core covered with remnants of green velvet and with an outer casing of a complicated pierced design incorporating curls, foliage and heart-shaped emblems, complemented with a circular upper cap, similarly pierced but featuring a floral design of acanthus leaves and incised lines; the pommel crowned with a small toroidal tang button. The grip’s original wooden core formed in two parts, fitted at either end with a circular metal collar with acanthus leaf borders similar to those depicted upon the pommel; a third metal collar encloses the centre of the grip where the two wooden sections meet and beneath this a small amount of velvet covering remains; this central collar features a raised median ridge with incised lines and a pair of decorative borders from which extend metal cuffs of widely spaced, pierced trelliswork that display further incised lines and miniature acanthus leaf borders. The cross-guard with a pair of quillons of circular section widening slightly towards the tips and including circular end caps terminating in small buttons. Set perpendicular to the plane of the blade is a pair of elaborate guards, each made of two symmetrical halves and constructed as a series of interlaced bestial and floral forms including various fronds, monstrous fish and with fantastic birds with curved beaks looking outwards; the quillons and guards fixed to the outer edges of a two-piece rectangular block through which the whole cross-guard assembly is secured with rivets. One of the quillons is lightly inscribed with the following name:

heinricvs leo + dvx A small Maltese cross has been inscribed between the second and third words. The long steel blade incorporates a strong, rectangular ricasso with a pair of wavy lugs, or Parierhaken; the blade double-edged and of flattened hexagonal section widening slightly towards an angular point. Deep central fullers run for approximately 6 1⁄4 inches on either face and these are inscribed with the name of the bladesmith:

iohanniis allich Incised lines, with occasional cross-hatching, flank the fullers terminating at the ends with a paired cross motif. A series of three evenly spaced parallel lines also appears on the ricasso, the central example merging with those around the fuller; the ricasso is struck on one side only with a small mark depicting a stag’s head. Overall length: 67 1⁄8 in

Blade length: 48 in

Weight: 8 lb

The use of large swords as symbols of power and sovereignty was a practice that originated in the high Middle Ages. By the fifteenth century, enormous ‘bearing swords’, intended solely for ceremonial and processional use in pageants and state occasions, were carried before the monarchs, statesmen and town dignitaries of many European nations as a symbol of their legitimacy and status. It was the sixteenth century, however, that saw the zenith of their development and many scholars regard the large group of bearing swords of the Dukes of Brunswick, and of the city itself, as particularly distinctive.


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When Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1528–89) acceded to the title in 1568, he was intent on creating and equipping an army that would rival those of the princes of the surrounding territories. He was also instrumental in transforming the old Duchy, whose capital had been founded in the twelfth century by Henry the Lion, into a modern, post-Lutheran state with the intention that it should become a centre of culture and learning. Near to his court at Wolfenbüttel he founded a library, the ‘Bibliotheca Aulica’, and at Helmstedt he established a university known as the ‘Juleum’. By a special decree, the collections of medieval manuscripts housed in the churches, abbeys and cathedrals of the Duchy were incorporated into his library in 1572 and made publicly available. The stockpiling of armour and weapons for the Zeughaus at Wolfenbüttel began two years after the Duke’s accession when, in 1570, Julius ordered two hundred armours. In the following year, a thousand further harnesses were procured from the Brunswick armourers. Owing to its proximity to the rich ores of the Harz Mountains, the City of Brunswick had been active as a centre of metalworking since the beginning of the fourteenth century and from around 1570 the first bearing swords of the ‘Brunswick’ style were manufactured. Most of these swords do not bear makers’ marks, yet one or two examples currently in the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum have a small lion rampant, the heraldic symbol of the city, struck into their blades. There is a certain ‘family resemblance’ across this group of Brunswick swords as a whole, yet it is possible to separate them into several quite distinct subgroups. By far the largest of these subgroups contains the swords that are dated 1573–4. These pieces have wide, crutchshaped pommels, curved cross-guards formed with the likenesses of monstrous fish and their ricassos are nearly always inscribed with the cipher of Duke Julius alongside the relevant date. Most are also engraved with inventory numbers in a sequence that, for those dated 1573 at least, runs into the hundreds, indicating that a very large order was placed for that year. Two of these pieces, one from each of the two years mentioned above, were offered in our 2003 catalogue (items 25 & 26). Another subgroup, fewer in number than the latter, contains swords that are


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similar in detail but which have much more strongly arched quillons and only a few appear to show the ducal monograms and dates. One example bears the date 1599, although it is reasonable to suppose that many of the others were made in the early 1570s. Far less numerous are the impressive swords that were intended to represent the City of Brunswick itself. About six are recorded, with one of their number being included in our 2005 catalogue (item 20). Even by the standards of the Brunswick swords, these ‘city’ pieces are all very large with enormously wide quillons that feature curled volutes and are intricately etched overall with scenes relating to the city history and legends. This etching is comparable in style to that upon some of the contemporary Brunswick armours, so it is thought that these pieces originate from circa 1570, although none is dated. Within the above subgroups there are variations in detail: some swords display aberrant pommel designs, simpler quillons or plain, unmarked blades. At least two examples in the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum (nos VMB 2901 & VMB 2919) are very large, at over 6 1⁄2 feet in length. In contrast, the magnificent sword offered here is of much more manageable proportions (although still a large sword), weighing in at exactly eight pounds. As far as we know, it is unique among the broad corpus of Brunswick bearing swords and cannot be placed within any of the subgroups previously discussed. However, it is likely to have accompanied the rest of the ducal collection at the Wolfenbüttel Zeughaus and been transferred with those pieces at a later date to Schloss Blankenburg in the Harz Mountains, where it was to remain until 1945. Blankenburg found itself within the Communist Zone of Occupation at the end of the Second World War and so the collection found a new home at Schloss Marienburg in the British Zone near Hanover. As a gesture of thanks to Britain for the help offered at this time, Duke Ernst-August IV arranged a loan exhibition of arms and armour at the Tower of London in 1952–3. This comprised many armours, weapons and other items and featured no less than fifteen of the bearing swords, including this particular piece (cat. no. 91). While still at Blankenburg, many of the swords and armours underwent restoration around 1911 by Robert Bohlmann, who published an account of that collection in 1915. It is certain that many of the wooden grips of these swords had become dilapidated: the turned grips that now adorn these pieces are the result of his work and are thought to be fairly authentic replacements. Our sword, however, appears to have survived with its original grip almost intact, and still shows traces of the original rich velvet covering beneath its gilded copper fittings. Another unusual aspect of this sword is the fact that its blade originates from the great blademaking centre of Solingen rather than the Brunswick workshops. Within the deep, narrow fullers can be seen the name of one Johann Ohlig, spelt here as iohanniis allich , one of many variations that include Aollich, Ollich or Ollig. This dynasty of blademakers appears to have taken their name from Ohligs, which was one of the suburbs of Solingen and the family was well known in the area from the late fifteenth century. The individual named on our sword practised his craft from 1550 to around 1580, although it is not recorded when he died. His personal mark of a stylised stag’s head is struck upon the ricasso of our sword and contrasts with the much more elaborate variant of the same that was used by one of his descendants or cousins in the 1620s. In fact, the only details that link this piece with the bulk of its Brunswick siblings are superficial indeed. The monstrous fish that are depicted as part of the side rings of the cross-guard echo the much simpler devices shown upon the quillons of the other subgroups. One very interesting


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feature appears to have been added as an afterthought, although it is obviously centuries old. On one quillon, in barely noticeable Latin characters, the name heinricvs leo + dvx has been lightly engraved. This is a spurious attribution to Henry the Lion (1129–95), Duke of Saxony and Bavaria who founded the cities of Brunswick and Lüneburg. Robert Bohlmann stated in 1915 that many a sixteenth-century visitor to the collection would have been taken in by this piece of fabrication that is so obvious to us today. There remains an intriguing possibility, however, which is that perhaps this sword was supposed to have been carried by someone playing the role of Henry the Lion in a pageant or procession to mark the founding of the city. If this happens to be the case, a sword as outstanding as this would have been very suitable as the weapon of the revered founder. When new, it would have looked very impressive indeed with its immaculate gilding, enhanced by the deep green velvet that originally covered the whole wooden grip, as well as beneath the gilt, latticed collar and beautifully pierced, urn-shaped pommel. Although slightly smaller in proportions compared to the majority of the Brunswick swords, this piece would have stood out amongst them by the sheer opulence of its design. Provenance:

The Armoury of the Dukes of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and their successors, the Kings and Princes of Hanover, successively housed in the Wolfenbüttel Zeughaus, Schloss Blankenburg and Schloss Marienburg, Lower Saxony.

Exhibited:

Exhibition of Arms, Armour and Militaria lent by H. R. H. The Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg at the Tower of London, 1952–3, cat. no. 91.

Literature:

Bohlmann, R., ‘Braunschweigischen Waffen auf Schloss Blankenburg am Harz’, Zeitschrift für Historische Waffenkunde, vol. 6 (1915), p. 355 & figs. 40 & 41. Bohlmann, R., ‘Braunschweig, die Waffenschmiede von Norddeutschland’, Zeitschrift für Historische Waffen- und Kostumkunde, vol. 8, (1944), pp.14–15. Mann, J., Exhibition of Arms, Armour and Militaria lent by H. R. H. the Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg at the Armouries of the Tower of London 1952–53, (London, 1952). Römer, C., ‘Drei Bidenhänder.’, Stadt im Wandel – Kunst und Kultur des Bürgertums in Norddeutschland, 1150–1650 (Exhibition Catalogue, Brunswick, 1985), vol. 2, pp. 1097–9, nos 964a–c.


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10. A Fine German Tournament Helmet, probably Augsburg, circa 1580 Of plain steel, designed to fit over the rim of a gorget; the one-piece skull with a high, fileroped comb and a boxed and file-roped turn at the neck, pierced with holes at the rear and retaining rivets around the neck for the securing of a lining; a replacement plume holder with cusped side bars fixed centrally at the base of the comb; on the sides of the brow the skull indented where fixing screws have come though the visor, the visor having a lateral sight with a medial bar strengthened during its working life and on either side above the vision slit a threaded fixing hole; the visor extending over the face in one piece, with a straight, almost vertical, prow and pierced on either side with ventilation holes, below which, on the right side, is a threaded hole to take the now missing lifting peg; the bevor with a boxed and fileroped turn at the neck to match the skull to which it is secured by a sprung, pierced peg and pivoting hook on the right of the neck; forward of this on the bevor and visor are the holes for the missing sprung catch that secured them together; the visor and bevor pivot together on the sides of the skull and are secured by a pin that passes through a pierced peg and rests in a groove in the flattened top of a domed washer, notched for ease of removal at right angles to the pin groove. Height: 12 in

Width: 8 in

Weight: 6 lb

The tournament developed in Europe in the early Middle Ages as a practice for cavalry warfare. The aristocratic and knightly classes who traditionally fought in armour on horses needed to hone their skills and they did this both by hunting dangerous game and by taking part in sporting martial combats. According to Ramon Lull in his Book of Knighthood of about 1270 it was by these means that ‘the knights exercise themselves to arms, and thus maintain the order of knighthood’. At first, tournaments were fought in exactly the same armour and using exactly the same weapons as were used on the field of battle but by the thirteenth century special forms of protection and special weapons began to be used for these sporting contests. Tournaments were, inevitably, dangerous and gradually more effort was made to make them safer and to cut down the incidence of death and serious injury. In the later Middle Ages this trend manifested itself by the increasing regulation of tournaments, by the development of specialised forms of sporting combat and by the linked development of highly specialised arms and armour for tournament use. Gradually, too, warfare was changing. Increasingly, the heavily armoured knights fought on foot as often as on horseback; larger numbers of infantry armed with projectile weapons came to dominate the battlefields of Europe. As these changes occurred so the military necessity for tournaments as practice for war diminished and they came to be seen far more as simply contests of skill and, eventually, as court and civic entertainment. By the later sixteenth century warfare and society had changed so much that the tournament was in sharp decline, although this was not immediately apparent since the tournaments of this time were often the centrepieces of great court masques and dramatic and musical extravaganzas to celebrate the victories, progresses and marriages of European monarchs and their high nobilities. Nonetheless, for all their rules and special equipment, these later tournaments remained very dangerous events, as the death of Henri II of France in 1550 reminded everyone. It was a happy family occasion. The king was jousting to celebrate his daughter’s wedding but a lance splinter


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went through his visor and he died of the wound ten days later. So, perhaps as a result of such reminders of the dangers involved, it was in its declining years that the tournament developed into the greatest number of specialist and highly controlled contests and that the greatest number of specialist defences was created for those participating. Throughout the sixteenth century, despite its increasing irrelevance for warfare, there remained sufficient aristocratic interest in the tournament throughout Europe, including in the German-speaking lands, for special forms of armour like our helmet to be made. Our helmet has the more vertical prow to the visor that became common from about 1570 onwards. It belongs to a group of south German tourney armours of a type made in both Augsburg and Landshut and probably also elsewhere. It has ventilation holes on both sides of the visor, a feature associated with tournament and foot-combat head defences, whereas on helmets for the various forms of joust they normally appear only on the right side – less vulnerable during tournament combat (see item 7 in this catalogue). Our helmet is also unusual in having threaded fixing holes above the sights for fixing a brow reinforce. This feature is also found on some other south German tournament helmets: a helmet of about 1560 by Wolfgang Großschedel of Landshut in the Stadt und Kreismuseum, Landshut (no. 1433), and a close helmet attributed to Anton Peffenhauser of Augsburg for the Freiturnier, part of a double garniture for Archduke Matthias and Archduke Maximilian III that dates to about 1575 and is now in the Wallace Collection, London (no. A187). Also of interest is the grandguard of an armour for the Italian joust (Welschgestech) made in 1588 by Anton Peffenhauser of Augsburg for Elector Christian I of Saxony (1560–91) and now in the Historisches Museum, Dresden (no. M 27). The tourney, or Freiturnier, developed from the early medieval mock battles that often involved large groups of opponents ranging over wide areas of countryside. Gradually, however, these combats became more constrained and regulated, usually restricted to special tournament yards or fields. Even so, ordinary field armours were often used for tourneys until well into the sixteenth century, though special protections were developed in the fifteenth century for specialised forms of the tourney such as the Kolbenturnier. From the beginning of the second decade of the sixteenth century at the latest, however, field armours were frequently reinforced for use in the tourney and soon special armours came to be made for it. The ability to attach a brow reinforce to our helmet may suggest that it was made with more than one use in mind and that, with suitable additional protection, it might also be able to serve as a jousting helmet. Literature:

Mann, Sir J., Wallace Collection Catalogues: European Arms and Armour, (London, 1962), vol.1 pp. 149–50, pl. 72. Norman, A. V. B., Wallace Collection Catalogues: European Arms and Armour Supplement, (London, 1986), pp. 69–70. Price B. R.(transl. and ed.), Ramon Lull’s Book of Knighthood and Chivalry, (Highland Village, Texas 2001), p. 30. Rangström, L. (ed.), Riddarlek och Tornerspiel, (Stockholm, 1992), pp. 60–1, no. 23. Spitzlberger, G., Landshuter Plattnerkunst, (Landshut, 1975), pp. 28–9, pl. 48.


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11. A Fine and Large South German Wheellock Puffer, Saxon, circa 1585 With flat lock plate of blued or blackened steel; the face of the wheel stepped and engraved with radiating lines and set within a gilded wheel-surround engraved on a line ground with foliate ornament; in section, the wheel spindle-axle is round to a knurled step where it narrows and becomes square to engage with a wheel key. The cock with a short flat neck and massive angular jaws; the edges of the bridled cock spring engraved with foliate scrolls; ahead of and below the sliding pan cover, a pyramidal quatrefoil release catch; to the rear of the wheel a pivoted safety catch acting on the toe of the trigger sear. Full fruitwood stock, the grip angling quite steeply downwards; the stock profusely inlaid with engraved staghorn forming trefoil, line or hatched borders separating panels of interlaced spiral scrollwork involving and terminating in budding flowers and inhabited on the sides by hounds, stags, foliate heads and leaves or fruit and underneath, ahead of the trigger guard where the scrollwork is symmetrical, by an owl with outspread wings; from just ahead of the owl the underside of the fore-end is entirely covered by three horn plaques engraved with symmetrical and serpentine leaf scrolls, the forward-most acting as the tailpipe for the ramrod. The foreend cap also of horn, engraved with addorsed C-scrolls; on the top of the small of the stock, the scrollwork attenuates to allow the insertion of two foliate masks facing each other and at the end of the small of the stock before the pommel a horn collar, engraved within single line borders with a repeating leaf pattern. The ball pommel inlaid with engraved staghorn in six panels separated by line and billet borders, each panel decorated with symmetrical foliate scrolls gathered at the centre in a gadrooned knop and the pommel cap itself formed as a roundel of staghorn engraved as a foliate lion’s mask within a roped border. Bright steel bow trigger guard with waisted, knob-ended trigger set in a staghorn trigger plate engraved with serpentine scroll work. L-shaped side plate of bright steel to which is attached a belt hook of keyhole form. Wooden ramrod with a head of horn engraved with leaf-work. The smoothbore, swamped, three-stage barrel changes in section from octagonal at the breech to round at the muzzle: the octagonal part with three transverse mouldings, one at either end, decorated with beading and one in the middle with swags; the breech has a transverse moulding at either end, that at the front decorated with swags, that at the back with beading and the breech itself is punched with simple scrolls and fleurs-de-lys; ahead of the breech, another octagonal section cut with long, deep wedges that meld into the forward round sectioned part of the barrel; just ahead of the change to round section is a transverse beaded moulding and towards the muzzle is a small, brass dome foresight. Overall length: 24 1⁄2 in

Barrel length: 14 1⁄2 in

Pistols of this sort are known as ‘puffers’ because in German the word used to define the large spherical pommel that characterises them is Puffer. They were designed as horsemen’s weapons and almost certainly the large ball butt became popular because it made drawing them from their saddle holsters easier. Large butts of any shape also served to balance early wheellock pistols which had both heavy locks and heavy barrels in front of the hand. Despite the oft-repeated tale that the ball butts were intended to be used as clubs, there seems to be no contemporary evidence to support this romantic and colourful suggestion. Puffers were made in England, France and the Low Countries but most especially in German-speaking lands from the 1560s onward. They


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declined in popularity with the advent of a new century and were fairly rapidly replaced by other forms. They were carried in holsters mounted on either side of the front of the saddle and were often made in matching pairs. The earliest puffer pistols have grips that angle strongly downwards but by the 1580s this form coexisted with puffers with far straighter stocks, making the precise dating of undated examples difficult. Our fine large puffer is especially interesting as it is known to have come from the historic armouries of the Electors of Saxony in Dresden but is a civilian not a military weapon, unlike the majority of the puffers still in the Historisches Museum in Dresden. It may be that, like many of these, our pistol was made in Dresden but there can be no certainty of this. The decoration of the stock of our pistol, characterised by interlaced spiral scrollwork involving and terminating in budding flowers, seems to be by the same hands as a boy’s decorated but undated puffer from the Cummer collection sold by Sotheby’s, London, 12 October 1970, lot 77, and our pair of puffers, dated 1586 and also made for a boy, that are now offered for sale by us in this catalogue as the next item. Our boy’s pair of pistols has the Arms of Saxony engraved on their staghorn pommel caps and thus we can say with confidence, because of the very great similarity between their decoration and that on our large puffer, that our large puffer also formed part of the Saxon Electoral Armoury in Dresden. The decoration on the ball butts of the boy’s pair, with panels of symmetrical foliate scrolls gathered at the centre in a gadrooned knop, together with their overall decoration, involving hounds chasing prey, foliate masks and an owl, is almost identical to those on our large puffer. The form of the owl, asymmetrical with tail showing, is reminiscent of the work of the stockmaker Klaus Hirt of Wasungen, a small town near Sühl in Thuringia. The only gun signed by him is a wheellock pistol dated 1587 in the Historisches Museum, Berne (no. 2223) but a number of wheellock stocks have been attributed to him on the basis of style. Similar owls appear on pistols attributed to him and dated 1587 that were sold from the Visser collection by Sotheby’s, London, 3 July 1990, lot 192, on another, almost identical but dated 1588, sold by Sotheby’s, Olympia, 5 December 2002, lot 241 and on one dated 1579 from the Saxon Royal Armouries, sold at Christie’s, London, 18 July 2002, lot 364. Other guns attributed to Hirt also have definite or possible Saxon connections. Wheellock pistols probably stocked by him in the Wallace Collection, London (no. A 1144), and the Hallwyl Museum,


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Stockholm (no. Ä.22) have barrels marked hb, the maker of which may have been Hans Beyer of Dresden, though other possibilities have been suggested including that ‘HB’ was a barrelmaker from Sühl. What was probably the pair to the Wallace Collection pistol was sold from the historic Saxon Electoral collections in the Historisches Museum, Dresden, by Sotheby’s, London, 23 March 1970, lot 66; a carbine with stock attributed to him and bearing the Arms of Saxony and the Archmarshalship of the Holy Roman Empire from the Renwick collection was sold at Sotheby’s, London, 19 March 1973, lot 49. The chase scenes on the sides of the stock of our pistol are, like the decoration of so many guns of the period, based on designs by Virgil Solis (1514–62). Puffers were certainly widely used by cavalry units in the German-speaking lands and considerable numbers of plain or partly decorated military pistols of this form are to be found. About 170, mostly made in either Nuremberg or Augsburg, are preserved in the historic arsenal of Styria in Graz and were used to equip the local cavalry defence forces that protected the Steiermark from Turkish incursions. The last shipment of puffers from Augsburg to Graz is recorded in 1605 and it is probable that these very late pistols had not spherical but lemon- or pear-shaped butts. An even larger concentration of puffers, still approaching several hundred despite past disposals, can be found in the Historisches Museum in Dresden. These undoubtedly formed part of the equipment of the mounted guard of the Electors of Saxony, Christian I (reigned 1586–91) and his son Christian II (reigned 1591–1611). Four types have been identified with an overall proven date-range of only the seven years from 1587 to 1594. To those still in Dresden must be added many more that were disposed of and have since found their way into many major collections. These Saxon electoral guard pistols are characterised by their blackened and chequered or stamped wooden stocks that imitate the far more expensive natural staghorn and by their gently angled grips. Some are dated, mostly with dates in the late 1580s and the early 1590s, and some bear the Arms of Saxony and the crossed swords of the Archmarshalship of the Holy Roman Empire. It is obvious from the marks that they bear that a considerable number of makers were involved in the manufacture of this group, but a good proportion of them bear the mark (a lily in a shield) attributed to the Dresden maker Zacharias Herold and are dated from the late 1580s onwards. However, most of these Herold pistols like that dated 1595 sold by Sotheby’s, Zürich, 14 December 2000, lot 374, were made during the reign of


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Christian II. Herold is recorded as a citizen and gunmaker of Dresden from 1586 to 1628 and rose to become Hofältester (Master of the Guild) in 1618. He made large numbers of military weapons as well as some luxury weapons for the Saxon court and the Elector himself. The existence of other finely decorated puffers, many enriched with hunting scenes, suggests that it was not only soldiers but also wealthy civilians such as those of Dresden and noblemen such as those of the Saxon court who acquired puffers for use on horseback, either for self-defence or for finishing a wounded animal when out hunting. The Historisches Museum in Dresden still holds the bulk of the old Saxon Electoral and Royal collections that consists of both the personal arms and armour of the Electors and the equipment of their Guards. The first sale of items from the collection took place in 1832 although there is no detailed record of the items in this sale. Further sales of small quantities of material were held in 1919, 1920 and 1927 to pay for improvements to the museum. A further sale of sixty-six pieces was held at Sotheby’s, London, 23 March 1970. These sales account for the number of Saxon Electoral and Royal pieces available on the market. Provenance:

The Saxon Electoral Armouries at Dresden.

Literature:

Brooker, R. E. and Lehner, H., ‘The Military Pistols of Saxony’, Bulletin of the American Society of Arms Collectors, no. 31, 1970, pp. 102–28. Brooker, R. Landeszeughaus Graz, Austria: Radschloss Sammlung, (Graz 2007), pp. 62–3, 125–268. Hayward, J. F., The Art of the Gunmaker (London 1962), vol. I, pp. 95–6. Heer, E., Der Neue Støckel, (Schwäbisch Hall), vol. I, 1978, p. 525. Lehner, H. and Brooker, R. E., ‘Die Sächsichen Militärpistolen und Revolver 1564/1883’, Deutsches Waffen Journal, no. 2, 1990, pp 189–92.


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12. A Extremely Rare Pair of Small South German Wheellock Puffers for a Boy, Saxon, dated 1586 The flat lock plates of blued steel with gilding on the borders, on some of the major external elements and on the side nails; the wheels covered by domed, gilded copper-alloy wheel covers engraved on a punched ground with fruit and foliate scrolls; gilded pivoting safety catches to the rear of the wheels and ahead of the wheels’ release buttons for the pan covers in the form of chiselled and gilt scallop shells; the cocks with short flat necks engraved with scrollwork and angular jaws formed and engraved as monsters’ heads with thumb scrolls to the rear formed and engraved as human heads; the cock springs with gilt baluster bridles, their edges engraved with foliate scrolls. Full fruitwood stocks, the grips angling steeply downwards, profusely inlaid with engraved staghorn forming roped or overlapping scale borders separating panels of interlaced spiral scrollwork involving and terminating in budding ball flowers; the scrollwork inhabited on the side flats and grips by a foliate mask and two hounds in pursuit of a hare, on the backs of the grips with two foliate masks facing each other and elsewhere by an owl and a squirrel; panels of engraved foliage above the rear of the locks; ramrod pipes formed of a pierced block of horn, the sides engraved with spiralling scrolls within a scale border; fore-end caps of horn engraved with a repeated leaf pattern; at the end of the small of the stocks before the pommels horn collars engraved within single line borders with a repeating leaf pattern; ball pommels inlaid with engraved staghorn in eight panels separated by line and billet borders, each panel decorated with symmetrical foliate scrolls gathered at the centre in a gadrooned knop; the pommel caps formed of a roundel of staghorn engraved with the Arms of Saxony; the underside of the fore-end of one pistol engraved with a minute letter a above a framed saltire – presumably the stockmaker’s mark. Steel bow trigger guards retaining some gilding, with waisted, knob-ended triggers. L-shaped side plates of bright steel to which are attached belt hooks of keyhole form. Wooden ramrods with horn heads engraved with leaf-work. Blued, smoothbore, three-stage barrels changing in section from octagonal at the breech to round at the muzzle; the breeches retaining some gilding and struck with simple scrolls and fleurs-de-lys, the date 1586 and the maker’s initials in , one on each of the visible side flats; ahead of the breeches another octagonal section cut with long deep wedges that meld into the forward round-sectioned part of the barrels; just ahead of the change to round-section, transverse beaded mouldings; small, brass domed foresights; the barrel tangs blued en suite. Overall length: 12 1⁄4 in

Barrel length: 6 3⁄8 in

Our pair of wheellock puffers, engraved with the Arms of Saxony on their pommel caps, are known to have come from the historic armouries of the Electors of Saxony in Dresden; another pistol with very similar stock decoration, and certainly by the same hands, is the previous item in this catalogue. On its stock, our large puffer has the same interlaced spiral scrollwork involving and terminating in budding flowers and inhabited by hounds chasing prey, foliate masks and an owl as do the stocks of our pair of boy’s pistols; its butt is also decorated with the same panels of


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symmetrical foliate scrolls gathered at the centre in a gadrooned knop. As discussed in the previous entry, the form of the owl, asymmetrical with tail showing, is reminiscent of the work of the stockmaker Klaus Hirt of Wasungen, a small town near Sühl in Thuringia and the chase scenes on the sides of the stocks of our boy’s pistols are, like the decoration of so many guns of the period, based on designs by Virgil Solis (1514–62). It is now widely accepted that the wheellock was invented at the very beginning of the sixteenth century and that Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) played a major role in its perfection and adoption. The earliest-known dated drawing of a wheel-driven mechanism for a tinder lighter was that of 1505 and executed by Martin Löffelholz of Nuremberg : it was in the collections of the Staatsbibliothek, Berlin, but was lost during the Second World War. However, Claude Blair has persuasively argued that the drawings by da Vinci in the Codex Atlanticus in the collections of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, could date from as early as 1500. Since one of these da Vinci drawings clearly portrays a wheel-driven ignition system specifically designed for a firearm, it seems very likely indeed that the ignition system for wheellock firearms was among one of them many inventions of Leonardo da Vinci. The debate about which nation, whether Italy or Germany (neither of which existed as nations in the early sixteenth century), invented the wheellock seems likely to be interminable. However, the contemporary attitude to what would now be regarded as national boundaries is revealed in what is thought to be the first dated reference to a wheellock firearm when, in 1507, the Italian Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, bishop of Eger in Hungary, ordered one of his servants, while in Germany, to obtain for him ‘a kind of gun that is ignited with a stone’. The invention of a safe and reliable mechanical method of igniting the powder charge within the barrel of a hand-held firearm was a major advance in firearm technology, although mechanical ‘locks’ for crossbows had been known for many centuries and, by this date, were becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex. It is no surprise, therefore, to find crossbowmakers employed in the sixteenth century as gunmakers, nor to find that among the earliest surviving wheellocks are three combined gun-crossbows in the Palazzo Ducale, Venice. Another, slightly later, in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, is datable to between 1521 and 1526. It is clear that the new lock led to a rapid advance in the development and use of firearms and very soon the dangers involved in the widespread use of firearms were becoming apparent to the rulers of Europe. As early as 1517, for instance, Emperor Maximilian I banned the carrying in Lower Austria of ‘self-striking handguns that ignite themselves’, a clear reference to firearms equipped with wheellocks. What made such guns especially dangerous as far as the authorities were concerned was the fact that they could be made small enough to be carried easily while on the move and could be concealed beneath clothing. In fact it is clear that the invention of the wheellock allowed the rapid development of what later in the sixteenth century came to be known as the pistol. Early and accurately datable wheellock pistols are very rare, but they include two, probably made in the north Italian town of Pontebba in Friuli (Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, Inventory Number XII.1765, and Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Inventory Number W.2036). Despite these attempted prohibitions, however, pistols rapidly became increasingly popular in Europe, both for personal protection and for use in warfare. Wheellock pistols made for children are among the rarest of firearms, children’s firearms being themselves a rarity. Small weapons and armours were produced during the Middle Ages to aid the martial training of the children of noble and knightly families and warlike toys and miniature working models of the real things were also available to the children of wealthy and privileged


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families. With the increasing use of guns in the sixteenth century, it was not long before they were exerting a magical appeal over many young people. In 1548 one of the pupils of Bodmin school in Cornwall made himself a working gun from an old candlestick, accidentally killed a cow with it and was whipped by his schoolmaster for his misdemeanour after a complaint from the dead cow’s owner. There was clearly a market for toy guns and this was soon met in Britain by the production of copper-alloy working miniatures of a range of pistols and long guns. The production of small pistols for real use by older children in the sixteenth century was far less common. Our pair of beautifully decorated pistols made for a boy is an apparently unique survival of a boy’s pair of puffers. Only one other boy’s puffer like them is known, an undated pistol from the Cummer collection sold by Sotheby’s, London, 12 October 1970, lot 77: this has an ovoid pommel, a less angled grip and a proportionally longer barrel than our pistols – all factors that may, perhaps, indicate a slightly later date. However, its decoration employs all the same elements as are found on our pair and there is no doubt that it comes from the same workshop as ours. Provenance:

The Saxon Electoral Armouries at Dresden. Sotheby’s, New York, 11 January 1994, lot 536. Christie’s, London, 16 December 1999, lot 344.

Literature:

Blackmore, H. L., ‘Elizabethan Toy Guns’, 6th Park Lane Arms Fair Catalogue, (London, 1989), pp. 10–13. Blair, C., ‘New light on the early history of the wheellock in Italy’, Waffen und Kostumkunde, vol. 37 (1995), p. 30. Brooker, R., Landeszeughaus Graz, Austria: Radschloss Sammlung (Graz 2007), pp. 62–3, 125–268 Clifford, B. and Watts, K., An Introduction to Princely Armours & Weapons of Childhood, (Leeds, 2003), pp. 4–9, 40–1. Hayward, J. F., The Art of the Gunmaker, (London, 1962), vol. I, pp. 95–6. Heer, E., Der Neue Støckel, (Schwäbisch Hall, 1978), vol. I, p. 525. Rimer, G., Wheellock Firearms of the Royal Armouries, (Leeds, 2001), pp. 5–8, 20.


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13. A Fine Italian Dagger for the Left Hand, circa 1600

The tapering steel blade of flattened diamond section, with a flat recessed ricasso retaining traces of gilding; the hilt of gilded iron with a disc-shaped pommel cast in the round in the form of a continuous tied wreath of laurel enclosing a lion’s mask on both sides; short quillons curving towards the point cast in the round in the form of horses’ necks and heads, the quillon block cast in the form of a scallop shell; the grip bound with twisted and plaited steel and brass wire with copper Turks’ heads top and bottom. Overall length: 14 1⁄2 in

Blade length: 9 in

This dagger, intended as part of a rapier-and-dagger suite of weapons, was made towards the end of the sixteenth century and is typical in its form of left-hand or ‘quillon’ daggers made in Europe at that time. The exquisite form of its cast and chased gilded iron hilt would have been replicated on a grander scale by the hilt of the magnificent swept-hilt rapier that was made to accompany it but which time has since separated from its companion dagger. Such daggers were encased in finely decorated scabbards and worn diagonally in the small of the back. One would draw the dagger with the left hand and use it in sword-play as an aid to the rapier, held in the right hand, both in deflecting and trapping an opponent’s cuts and thrusts and, when used in earnest, in delivering the coup de grâce, should one get within one’s opponent’s guard. Such use of both sword and dagger in fencing was common throughout late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Europe and the forms of dagger are fairly universal, the Iberian peninsula being generally excepted – Spain having developed its own school of left-hand dagger. While the form of the pommel and the general overall delicacy of the design of the dagger’s hilt may hint at its being Italian, the blade may well be German. The style of the hilt is typical of the late sixteenth century but it may be that too rigid an ascription of national characteristics to items whose design transcended national boundaries as well as microcultural ones is unwise – there being less difference in 1590 between Italy and the German-speaking lands than exists today. By the 1620s, and throughout Europe, the wearing of the sword-and-dagger combination was fast dying out and so this lovely dagger, with its state-of-the-art blade and artistically sculpted hilt, would have been out of fashion within a generation of its manufacture: it may have been at this point that it and its companion rapier – which remained fashionable but worn and used on its own – became separated. Provenance:

Castiglioni Collection (Vienna); sold Frederic Muller & Cie., Amsterdam, July 1926, lot 437.


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14. An Exceptional and Magnificently Decorated Head of a Musket Rest, probably by Emanuel Sadeler, Munich, circa 1605 Of chiselled and pierced iron with gilded grounds and highlights and special features heightened with gilding and gold dots, consisting of a fork, pierced on either side of its base and with everted tips, sitting on a socket of circular section. The arms of the fork in the form of addorsed S-scrolls on top of which, facing each other, are winged classical bare-chested busts, one a wreathed female, the other a helmeted male; from the waists of the figures the inside of the arms decorated with overlapping gilt scales; the sides of the arms chiselled with acanthus leaves tailing off towards their bases where the arms are elegantly split to leave slender, curving triangles between the leaf work and the S-scrolls that reduce the bulk and heaviness of the bases of the arms; the outsides of the arms are plain but for gilding below their sculptured tips. The fork sits on a flat iron plate that joins it to the socket, the plate chiselled on each face as a grotesque moustached foliate head. The socket with a long, ribbed central section with mouldings at either end; above the upper moulding a knop and above this a plain moulding where the socket joins the foliate-headed plate; below the lower moulding a panel of chiselled strapwork involving pendulous sprays of budding flowers and fruit and ending with a final moulding at the mouth of the socket. Height: 7 1⁄2 in

Width: 4 1⁄2 in

Rests were often made for use with the heavy-barrelled long guns that were popular in the second half of the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century. Their principal use was on the battlefield to increase the accuracy of the period’s heavy military muskets – which were usually matchlocks – and so decorated musket rests for use with civilian guns, which would have been decorated en suite with their rests, are very rare. Apart from our magnificent rest and another of comparable quality discussed below, only a relatively small number of decorated rests are known to have survived. There is a small group of decorated English musket rests known that includes one sold by Christie’s, London, 29 October 1986, lot 71, with monsters’ heads engraved on the tips of the arms and a wooden haft decorated with engraved inlays of bone and mother-of-pearl, another in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the head of a musket rest, sold from the collection of R. T. Gwynn by Christie’s, London, 24 April 2001, part of lot 27, that had previously been in the collection of William Randolph Hearst. This last musket rest is chiselled with animal-head terminals to the arms which are decorated with gold false-damascening and small silver ovals. The ornate matchlock long guns made in Holland in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries with stocks inlaid with engraved bone, horn and mother-of-pearl sometimes had rests made to match but the decoration on these was largely confined to the hafts. Examples include a combined musket rest and linstock belonging to an ornate rifled matchlock musket in the Visser collection (HV 648-9) and another, the head with everted arms ending in baluster finials and the haft inlaid in plain and coloured bone to match the stock of its accompanying musket that has been dated to about 1595, in the Livrustkammaren, Stockholm (no. 11674). The same seems to have been generally true of the German-speaking lands too. In the Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer in Vienna (no. D 145) is a musket rest made for Archduke Leopold V of the Tyrol (1586–1632) in the first decade of the seventeenth century. It consists of an iron fork with everted ends that scroll back to the bases of the arms, an engraved and moulded socket and a wooden haft decorated with engraved bone inlays. Our musket rest is, therefore, highly unusual in having a richly decorated head.


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Preserved in remarkable condition, our magnificent rest far outshines those mentioned above and is a masterpiece of design and execution. It was made by a member of the celebrated Munich school of iron chisellers that consisted of three supremely talented artists, Emanuel Sadeler, Daniel Sadeler and Caspar Sp채t, who worked successively at the court of the dukes of Bavaria from the late sixteenth to the third quarter of the seventeenth century. Between them, they were responsible for some of the finest decorated firearms and edged weapons ever produced. The Sadelers were emigrants from Antwerp. Their father, Emanuel the elder, and his brother, Jan, worked as cutlers in Antwerp, making and decorating not only knives and sets of cutlery but also swords, daggers and rapier hilts. Jan was the founder of a dynasty of copper-engravers who worked in many of the major northern European cities and in Rome. Emanuel Sadeler the Younger may have been employed in the Munich workshop of Ottmar Wetter from as early as 1588. In 1594 he succeeded Wetter as


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Eisenarbeiter (iron worker) to Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria. Emanuel’s younger brother may have come to Munich with him to work for Wetter but by 1603, perhaps persuaded to move by his relation Egidius Sadeler, he was working in Prague as a Kammervergolder (court gilder) to the Emperor Rudolph II. In 1610 Emanuel died and Daniel returned to Munich to take his place and work for Duke Albrecht VI, youngest brother of the new Bavarian ruler, Duke (later Elector) Maximilian I. Unlike his elder brother, however, Daniel was not given a permanent court appointment and did not receive any commissions from Maximilian I until 1624. After his death in or about 1632, probably from plague, the Munich workshop was carried on, whether with or without a short break is uncertain, by Caspar Spät. From the closeness of his work to that of the Sadelers it seems certain that he had not only received his training in their workshop but also had inherited their pattern-books. Nothing is known of his first few years in charge of the workshop


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until he received his first commission from the Elector Maximilian I in 1635. Thereafter, the Munich court account-books record numerous payments to him for work carried out until 1665 and as well as being paid for individual commissions he also received a salary. There is evidence that even after he finished working for the court he continued to accept other commissions for a few years. In 1661 he was recorded as a member of the Goldsmiths’ Guild and in 1672 he was given the sinecure post of Hofkammerratdiener (servant to the court chamberlain). On 9 June 1637 he had married Anna Sibilla Starnbergerin, daughter of the beer-brewer George Starnberger, whose house in the Auserer Schwabingergasse he occupied up to about 1643, when he seems to have been accommodated in the electoral Residenz. His wife died in 1666 but he survived until 1691. The chiselled decoration of the Munich school is very distinctive. Rather than using inlaid precious metals for the detail of much of the decoration, as was common practice at the time, the Sadelers and Spät chiselled their ornament in iron, gilded the ground and left the raised metal bright but for highlights usually picked out in gold dots as on our musket rest. Most commonly, these gold dots are found with a repeated scale pattern but this is not always the case. For instance, in the Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, Vienna, is a wheellock rifle (no. D 209) with a stock by David Altenstetter of Augsburg that is overlaid with engraved silver and champlevé enamel. Its lock and barrel were chiselled by Daniel Sadeler in his Prague period and his decoration uses gold dots not only on scales but also, as on our musket rest, to highlight the wings and fins of monsters and the centre of scrolls. Much of the inspiration for the decoration of the Munich school comes from the work of the French goldsmith, medallist and printmaker Étienne Delaune (1518/9–83), who was heavily influenced by the Italian artists of the School of Fontainebleau. Delaune was working in Paris as a goldsmith by 1546 and was employed by King Henri II in the late 1540s and 1550s to make medals and design the decoration for his sumptuous parade armours. By 1557 Delaune had also taken up engraving and it was largely through the dissemination of his prints that his designs were taken up by craftsmen around northern Europe. Delaune was a Protestant and he left Paris for the safety of the free Imperial city of Strasbourg after the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in 1572. He returned to Paris in 1580, three years before his death. Bruno Thomas has suggested that the Antwerp goldsmith Eliseus Libaerts collected together his own designs and those of the Fontainebleau School and that he and his son Jean lent many of them to colleagues and must eventually have bequeathed them to a pupil of a friend in Antwerp. This seems the only logical explanation of the facts that Libaerts, a contemporary of Delaune who was working from about 1557 to 1572, used Delaune’s drawings when making armours for King Eric XIV of Sweden between about 1560 and 1565, that on the backs of five Delaune drawings are contemporary inscriptions in southern German and that his engravings were copied by an Augsburg artist in about 1575–80. Given that the Sadelers came to Munich from Antwerp it is not difficult to see how they could have become so influenced by the work of a dead Frenchman. However, Delaune was not the only influence upon the Sadelers’ Munich school. The dragons on the hilt of, firstly, a rapier attributed to Caspar Spät, illustrated by us in our 2001 Catalogue, as item 34, secondly, of a sword in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, and, thirdly, of a backsword formerly in the collection of Frederic Spitzer, were based on designs by the Antwerp artist Hans Collaert (circa 1545–1628), who studied in Rome and was heavily influenced by Rubens. Another Antwerp craftsman, Abraham de Bruyn (1546–87), is also thought to have influenced the development of the style of the Munich school.


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Our musket rest, like the majority of the products of the Munich school of steel chisellers, has decoration broadly based on Delaune’s prints. The strapwork on the panel at the base of the socket, inhabited by sprays of budding flowers, is particularly close to an undated circular print by Delaune in the Rijksprentenkabinet of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (no. 552.2): this shows a female demi-figure surrounded by strapwork, scrolling foliage and sprays of budding flowers and fruit. Similar pendules of fruit and budding flowers appear on a detached wheellock in the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (Stocklein CS 19) and on a reliquary casket in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich (no. 1325), both of which have been attributed to Caspar Spät. The mask that decorates the join between the socket and the arms of our rest is very like that on a sword cane in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (no. 04.3.42) that has been ascribed to Caspar Spät largely because of its similarity to a pair of pistols in the Real Armería, Madrid (no. K 86-7) also attributed to him. It is also similar to the mask at the centre of the side ring of the rapier mentioned above, and attributed to Caspar Spät, that we offered in 2001 and to the masks on the barrels of a pair of wheellock pistols in the Hungarian National Museum, Budapest (Stocklein CS 14–15). However, a very similar mask also appears on the chiselled barrel of a wheellock gun in Vienna that has been attributed by Hans Stocklein (no. DS 17) to Daniel Sadeler, so this type of mask cannot confidently be said to be a feature unique to the work of Caspar Spät. The use of gold dots to highlight scrolls and other elements of design that is such a feature of our rest may be compared to numbers of examples of the Munich school by or attributed to both of the Sadelers and to Caspar Spät and in itself is not necessarily a good indicator of the identity of the craftsman responsible for our musket rest. We must now consider whether other musket rests by the Munich school exist that can help to resolve the identity of the craftsman who made ours and the date when he might have been working on it. The only other comparable musket rest known formed part of the magnificent set of sixteen magnificently decorated arms (four wheellock long guns, three spanners, two priming flasks, one powder flask, a pair of wheellock pistols, three rapiers and a musket rest) given in 1650 by the Elector Maximilian I of Bavaria (1573–1651) to Charles Emanuel II of Savoy (1634–75, Duke of Savoy from 1658). The occasion for the gift was the marriage, by proxy, of Maximilian’s eldest son, Prince Ferdinand Maria, to Henriette Adelaide, the sister of Charles Emanuel. Both bride and groom were fourteen years old at the time of their wedding. With the exception of the musket rest the set is in the Armeria Reale, Turin (nos G 98–99, G 195, M 9–12, N 12–15, N 22–24, N 27–28). The whole set was not made especially for presentation but was gathered together from the luxury arms in the electoral collections in Munich. It consists, therefore, of pieces that vary in date from the very end of the sixteenth century to near to the date of presentation and that were made by both Sadeler brothers and Caspar Spät in association with the Augsburg stockmakers Adam Vischer (who worked with Emanuel), Hieronymus Borstorffer (who worked with both Emanuel and Daniel) and Elias Becker the Elder (who worked with Caspar). The work of the Sadeler brothers, as ever, is unsigned but Caspar Spät put his initials on the barrels of the two wheellock guns that he made for the set and the three stockmakers likewise put their initials on the stocks of the long guns in the set that they made. It is believed that some of the engraving was the work of the Sadeler brother’s cousin, Johannes Sadeler. As was normal for the products of the Munich court workshop, the general inspiration for the decorative schemes can be found in the published output of Etienne Delaune. The musket rest from this set belongs to the gun no. M 12 in the Armeria Reale, Turin. This gun has a combined matchlock and wheellock mechanism and is signed on the stock by Adam Vischer. This gun and its rest, together with a carbine and three powder flasks, were seen by the Augsburg scientist Philip Hainhofer when he visited the Electoral


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Kunstkammer in Munich in May 1611 and he has left a recognisable description of them. Because the gun and its rest were completed before the spring of 1611, it seems highly unlikely that they would have been the work of Daniel Sadeler who did not arrive in Munch until 1610 and is not recorded as working for the elector before 1624. The decoration on the metalwork of this gun and rest has, therefore, been attributed with some confidence to Emanuel Sadeler. The head of that rest is of the same general form and quality as our musket rest but with the arms formed as scaled serpents. The fluted socket with a wide panel at the base decorated with strapwork between moulded borders is especially close to the form and style of ours. It is complete with a sumptuously decorated wooden haft and chiselled and gilt-steel ferrule matching the head. The haft is inlaid in engraved ivory with strapwork involving monster-heads, sprays, swags and vases of flowers and fruit and figures of the Four Seasons taken from the engravings of Etienne Delaune. In addition, it bears a number of pierced silver panels of foliate strapwork set with gold and mother-of-pearl quatrefoils, gold rosettes and gold fleur-de-lys-tipped diapers.The musket rest became separated at some time from the rest of the gift and found its way into the collection of the Rothschild family (no. AR 3385). It was exhibited in the Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (no. A 2252) from 1967 and in 1980 at the Munich Residenz as part of the exhibition Wittelsbach und Bayern. Um Glauben und Reich. Kurfürst Maximilian I (cat. no. 799). From its family inventory number, it is known to have formed part of the collection of Baron Alphonse von Rothschild (born 1878) and almost certainly came to him from his father, Baron Albert von Rothschild (1844–1911), himself heir to the family’s Austrian collections. The rest was sold from the Rothschild collection by Christie’s, London, 8 July 1999, lot 81. Throughout its active life the Munich School maintained the highest standards of craftsmanship: as a result, their products were highly prized by the powerful and wealthy and so are to be found today in the great European Royal collections in Copenhagen, Dresden, Madrid, Paris, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Turin and Vienna. Because of this uniformly high standard, because all three members of the Munich School used the same techniques and took the details of their designs from the same sources and because the two Sadelers signed none of their works and Caspar Spät only some of his, it has proved very difficult, sometimes impossible, to tell their work apart. Attempts have been made to distinguish the work of one from the other based on the supposed dates of the weapons that they decorated but in some instances this has proved an uncertain guide. John Hayward believed that the work of Caspar Spät could be distinguished from that of the Sadelers, especially on firearms, because his chiselling was less deep and fine, and suggested that he was less highly regarded in his time than had been his predecessors. However, more recently the virtuosity and quality of Spät’s craftsmanship has been more widely recognised. It has to be admitted that arguments could be made to support our musket rest having been made by any of the three Munich Masters: Emanuel Sadeler on the basis that he is the only one of the three known to have made a musket rest (and that a rest with very similar features to ours) or Daniel Sadeler and Caspar Spät on the detailed stylistic grounds outlined above. Given these facts, our musket rest could date from any time within the half century 1600–50. However, there is one feature of our rest, not so far discussed, that may point conclusively in one direction. The head is made particularly elegant by the device of splitting the arms near their bases. This piece of artistic virtuosity is found on two other Munich-school pieces and both are well recorded and firmly attributed. They are the spanners made to accompany the sumptuous wheellock long guns made by Emanuel Sadeler that formed part of Maximilian’s wedding gift discussed above and now in the Armeria Reale, Turin. (nos. M 12, N 12, M 11, N 13).


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One of these guns, dating from about 1599, has a stock bearing the initials of Adam Vischer and the other, a stock bearing the initials of Hieronymus Borstorffer. Hans Stocklein was of the opinion that this latter gun was the work of Daniel Sadeler but that attribution has now been shown to be incorrect and there is no doubt that it was made by Emanuel. The iron grips of both these spanners are formed, like the arms of our rest, as a scroll and they split near the root with one part curving gently to meet the inverted tip of the scroll of the main part: this reduces the bulk and increases the elegance of the spanners. Although both Daniel Sadeler and Caspar Spät also made spanners, none of those that can be confidently attributed to them shows this particular feature. Leaving aside those spanners with powder flasks built into their grips, both Daniel and Caspar seem to have made spanners with flat bar grips that expand from the moulded neck of the spanner to a pierced roundel just before the screwdriver tip. A spanner of this form attributed to Daniel Sadeler is in the Metropolitan Museum, New York and one en suite with a wheellock arquebus bearing the initials of Caspar Spät on the metalwork is in the Armeria Reale, Turin (spanner no. N 15, gun no. M 10). It is, therefore, with confidence that the head of our magnificent musket rest can be suggested to be the work of Emanuel Sadeler and to date from the first decade of the seventeenth century. Literature

Drejholt, N., Firearms of the Royal Armouries I: from Gustav II Adolf to Charles XIII, (Stockholm, 1996), pp.16–17. De Jong, M. and De Groot, I., Ornamentprenten in het Rijksprentenkabinet I 15de & 16de Eeuw, (Amsterdam 1988), p. 238. Grancsay, S. V., ‘A Sculptured Pistol by Daniel Sadeler’, Arms & Armor: Essays by Stephen V Grancsay from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1920–1964 (New York, 1986), pp. 94–6. Grancsay, S. V., ‘Bavarian Chased Steel Mounts’, Arms & Armor: Essays by Stephen V Grancsay from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1920–1964 (New York, 1986), pp. 142–5. Hayward, J. F., ‘The Musket-Rest from the Emanuel Sadeler Garniture in the Armeria Reale Turin,’ Bollettino dal Societa Piemontese d’Archeologia e di Belle Arti, III (Turin, 1949), pp. 1–7. Puype, J. P., The Visser Collection: Arms of the Netherlands in the Collection of H. L. Visser, vol. 1 (Zwolle, 1996), pp. 54–6. Thomas, B., ‘French Royal Armour as reflected in the Designs of Etienne Delaune,’ Arms and Armor Annual 1, ed. Robert Held (Northfield, Illinois, circa 1973), pp. 104–13. Schedelmann, H., Die Grossen Büchsenmacher: Leben,Werke, Marken vom 15 bis 19 Jahrhundert (Brunswick 1972), pp. 55, 305, pl. 104. Stocklein, H., Meister des Eisenschnittes (Esslingen, 1922), pp. 65, 67, 78–80, 83, 85, pls. xxiv, xxix, xxxi, xxxii.


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15. A Brace of Fine and Rare Wheellock Pistols, probably Alsatian, circa 1605 Bright steel locks, the flat plates squared at the front and tapering at the back in a convex curve to a teat finial and etched with a roped border within which, to the rear of the wheel, symmetrical strapwork surrounds an oval cartouche containing a classical male figure, the decoration continuing beneath the wheel in the form of symmetrical floral sprays; the lower edge of the lock plates down-curved to accommodate the large plain wheel with irregularly chamfered rim held in place by a small crescent bearing plate that overlaps its rear edge and is attached to the plate by a screw through its baluster-moulded finial; ahead of the wheel is a quatrefoil catch, the thumb catch of the pan cover of the shorter pistol chiselled and engraved with a grotesque mask on the end nearer the pan and that on the longer pistol engraved with addorsed scrolls. The cocks sculpturally chiselled with similar but different decoration; the neck of the cock on the shorter pistol formed as a female demi-figure emerging from foliage and facing to the rear with arms extended behind her back to support the jaws, which are sculpted in the form of a horse’s head; the cock of the longer pistol similar but lacks the demi-figure, the neck consisting of an urn-like baluster from which emerges leaf-work; both cocks have bridled V-springs with scrolled bevelling chiselled on their edges. Faceted walnut full stocks inlaid with large and small panels of engraved staghorn, some stained green, and mother-of-pearl, the longer pistol with some inlaid brass wire scrolls. The decoration consists of broad, symmetrical strapwork and floral scrolls involving fruit and buds interspersed with demi-figures, a faun carrying a basket of fruit on its head, a demi-figure standing behind a cornucopia, owls and an angel; there are also a number of large oval cartouches engraved with classical figures or, on the sides of the fore-ends, with ropework and foliate scrolls; the side flats overlaid with panels of staghorn decorated en suite with strapwork and leaf scrolls involving two linked figure scenes; on the shorter pistol, a standing nude female surrounded by naked male youths; on the larger one, the central female figure replaced by a standing male figure, naked except for a cloak and armed with shield and sword, and the nearest flanking youths by perching birds with long forked tails and bearded, male human heads, while to one side is a prone figure; on either side of the barrel tangs are engraved and cut-out horn plaques, each depicting caryatids; the ramrod tail pipes formed of staghorn, each engraved with a nude figure; each pistol with two plain steel ramrod pipes; the ramrods of wood, that of the shorter pistol retaining its engraved horn tip decorated to match the fore-end cap; the horn fore-end caps engraved with a repeating floral pattern. The cylindrical pommels decorated with wrythen fluting, highlighted by inlaid horn lines; repeated discs of horn and green-stained horn on the shorter pistol and horn and brass on the longer pistol. The plain steel trigger guards with raised edges and enclosing moulded triggers. Long, slender, bright steel two-stage barrels with pronounced mouldings at the breech, changing in section from octagonal to round at the muzzle; the barrels of both pistols with a low fence or step at the rear of the breech muzzle; forward of the breech on the longer pistol, a panel of acanthus ornament; on the shorter pistol, a further transverse moulding where the barrel section changes from round at the breech to octagonal; between the two mouldings is stamped the letter I in an oval; the top flat of the octagonal section of both pistols is etched with foliate strapwork involving demi-figures; the barrel tangs etched with strapwork. Overall length: 29 3⁄4 in and 28 3⁄4 in

Barrel length: 22 1⁄16 in and 20 3⁄4 in


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At first sight, our superbly and richly decorated pistols seem not to be a pair, although they are clearly made to accompany each other, perhaps as part of a set. They are of slightly different lengths and the shorter one has brass wire inlays that the longer one lacks. However, it is seems likely, from the scenes on the side flats, that these pistols are in fact meant to be paired, with one representing male and the other female attributes. Our fine pistols have all the external features that typify Frenchmade wheellocks of the first decade of the seventeenth century: large wheels with small bearing plates, down-curved locks and stocks to accommodate the wheels, baluster-shaped cock arms, and stepped breeches. The stepping at the breeches is, however, much less pronounced than normal and this may suggest that our two pistols date from around 1610, at which time these steps tend to disappear. However, the presence on our guns of large horn plaques and smaller horn inlays as well as mother of pearl and, on one, brass wire, may, on the contrary, suggest an earlier date, since the use of horn on French firearms declined rapidly after about 1600 and the use of mother-of-pearl also became less common. A similar combination of small horn plaques, motherof-pearl and brass wire inlay, but lacking the larger horn plaques and veneers, is found, for example, on a wheellock holster pistol from the collection of R. T. Gwynn that is believed to have been made in northern France at the end of the sixteenth century. Broadly similar decoration to that on our pistols (with the exception of the veneered side flats) is found on the following two pistols: one with an ovoid pommel of flattened hexagonal section that is believed to have been made in Alsace in about 1600 and which is now in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (no. M 488-1927) and another with a flattened ovoid pommel, sold by Christie’s, London, 20 November 1991, lot 312, which it has been suggested was made in northern France, perhaps Sedan, in the first decade of the seventeenth century. The former of these pistols is engraved on its trigger plate braun and marked on the lock with a shield containing the initials ip over a star (Neue Støckel 8107) that also appears on a wheellock pistol in the Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. The latter’s lock bears a mark consisting of the conjoined initials hf within a shield (Neue Støckel 7444). What distinguishes these pistols from ours, however, is that they each have a fully French-type lock with a mainspring held not on the lock plate but in the stock, through which it is secured to the side plate. The combination of French external features and a Germanic type of lock is


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typical of wheellocks made on the northern and western fringes of France in such areas as the southern (Spanish) Netherlands, Alsace, Lorraine and Sedan – the latter a principality independent of France until 1642 – and the Rhineland. It is not possible to be certain in which of these areas our fine pair of pistols was made. However, the broad, flat strap work surrounding figures and decorative oval cartouches and involving leaf scrolls, buds and fruit that is found on their stocks is most similar to the designs of the Augsburg goldsmith Paul Flindt (?1567–?1631) that were published as a series of engravings between 1592 and 1618. These had a great influence, especially upon craftsmen in the German-speaking lands, and may suggest that our pistols came from an area such as Alsace that is relatively close to Augsburg and was at that time under direct Habsburg control. The cylindrical pommels of our pistols are a very unusual feature and the wrythen fluting on them is also not common, although it does occur, for example, on the egg-shaped pommel of a French wheellock pistol of the first decade of the seventeenth century in the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds (no. XII.1074). The mark of a letter i in an oval on one of our two pistols is unrecorded. Provenance:

French Private Collection.

Literature:

Blair, C., Pistols of the World, (London, 1968), p. 91, fig. 60. Hayward, J. F., The Art of the Gunmaker; vol 1 1500–1660, 2nd edn., (London, 1965), pp. 109–12, 149–150, 309, pl. 25a. Heer, E., Der Neue Støckel (Schwäbisch Hall, 1978), vol. I, p. 412; vol. II, p. 1,000. Kennard, A.N., French Pistols and Sporting Guns, (London, 1972), pp. 11–17. Rimer, G., Wheellock Firearms of the Royal Armouries, (Leeds, 2001), p. 47.


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16. A Fine French Wheellock Pistol by François Poumerol, French, circa 1612 With a bright-steel lock, the flat plate squared at the front and tapering at the back, the lower edge down-curved to accommodate the large, plain wheel, held in place by a squared axlenut and a small bearing plate springing from the underside of the pan, its axle passing through the stock; the side of the pan engraved and gilded with a sunburst pattern; forward of the wheel a thumb catch to open the sprung pan cover, its head chiselled as a six-petalled flower; between the wheel and the catch are engraved in flowing script the initials fp ; the cock operating against an unbridled ‘V’ spring with scroll terminals and of squared baluster form with angled neck from which spring small, rounded jaws; internally, the mainspring is attached to the stock not to the lock; plain fruitwood full stock down-curved at the lock to accommodate it and with convex mouldings to the lower sides of the fore-end; at the muzzle a plain steel fore-end cap; octagonal pear-shaped pommel with an octagonal raised collar between it and the grip and a blued steel pommel cap with gutters in line with the faceted edges and dished in the centre where it is attached by a decorative brass quatrefoil nail head, the edges of the pommel facets being highlighted with brass wire inlay and the top, bottom and side flats decorated with circles outside which are four small flat brass nail heads and inside which are large flat steel nail heads, the alternate flats plain; the raised wooden collar decorated on each flat with four small domed brass studs surrounding one copper one; either side of the collar an inlaid collar of brass stamped with repeated six-petalled flowers and just beyond the outer edges of these on grip and pommel a row of small domed brass studs; gilt steel stirrup trigger guard, pierced and engraved within leaf borders with foliate scrolls; two plain steel rammer pipes; wooden ramrod with plain steel tip; recessed scroll side plate of plain steel attached by two screws and bearing in the centre the end of the wheel axle; long, slender, bright steel two-stage barrel, octagonal to the breech with flutes at the joins of the flats and round to the muzzle decorated with a plain, thin ring moulding; the barrel attached to the stock by three steel pins; a long tang with a central, axial groove extends to the pommel collar. Overall length: 25 7⁄8 in

Barrel length: 18 3⁄4 in

Our very fine and elegant pistol is an exceptional example of French gunmaking of the early seventeenth century. It exhibits the major French features of a mainspring that is not attached to the lock but fixed separately to the stock and a wheel axle that passes right through the stock. In addition, it has the other major features that typify French-made wheellocks of the first two decades of the seventeenth century: a large wheel with small bearing plate, down-curved lock and stock to accommodate the wheel, baluster-shaped cock arm and stepped breeches. However, its barrel lacks the stepped breech that is common in the first decade of the century and this helps to date it quite precisely. Our exquisite pistol is, in fact, typical of French pistols of the second decade of the seventeenth century, with an extremely thin and elegant barrel, pear-shaped pommel and stock ornament confined to restrained decoration with metal wire and pins. Yet the restraint of its decoration does not at all detract from the quality of the workmanship that went into its construction. It was made by one of the very best of French gunmakers of the time and is an excellent example of the slender, almost delicate, firearms preferred by contemporary French makers and so different from the rugged and chunky wheellocks of the German-speaking lands.


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Our pistol is one of a small group that is believed to bear the initials of the French gunmaker François Poumerol, who appears to have been born in the Auvergne about 1580 but about whom very little is known. He presented a snaphaunce gun and pistol, together with a poem, to the young King Louis XIII in 1631 in a blatant attempt to curry favour and gain a Royal appointment. In this, however, he was not entirely successful. He was never to be appointed as a gunmaker to the king although he was given the post of gunmaker to the king’s brother, Gaston, Duc d’Orléans. For a long time it was assumed that Poumerol worked in Paris but then attention was drawn to a wheellock gun, dated 1613, in the Musée de l’Armée, Paris (no. M. 95) which is identifiable as number 40 in the Cabinet des Armes of Louis XIII: it is signed f.p. fait au montel . This would suggest that, in fact, Poumerol was based not in Paris but at Monteille in Normandy, very near to Lisieux where, at the same time, the famous and influential Le Bourgeois brothers were working to change the face of gunmaking for ever by perfecting the new and much simpler flintlock that would very soon replace the wheellock. During this period, the gunmaking industry in France was not as dominated by Parisian makers as it would later become and the highest standards of craftsmanship were often to be found on seventeenth-century guns made in the various regions of France, especially in Alsace, Lorraine, Sedan, Picardy, the Dauphiné, Brittany and Normandy. Some of the very best gunmakers worked in the French provinces: men like Ezechias Colas of Metz, Pierre Monlong of Angers and Pierre Bergier of Grenoble. However, in the early years of the seventeenth century it was Normandy that stood out as a regional gunmaking centre, a fact borne out by the disproportionate number of Norman-made guns that appear in the inventory of the gun collection of King Louis XIII: these included six from the town of Lisieux alone, two of which were made by the Le Bourgeois brothers, Jean and Marin. They had been born into a family of locksmiths, clockmakers and armourers. While Jean le Bourgeois, who died in 1615, seems to have been a gunmaker throughout his working life, his brother Marin, who survived until 1634, was a more versatile craftsman. He was working for King Henri IV by 1598 as a painter and sculptor but he also turned his hand to making musical instruments, a celestial globe, a hunting horn, an air gun and a crossbow. In 1608 he was one of the first craftsmen to receive a patent as a royal artist working in the galleries of the Louvre. Some time before 1615, the Le Bourgeois brothers perfected a new lock that would come to be known as the ‘true’ flintlock: simpler than either the wheellock or the various forms


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of the snaphaunce, it was ideally suited to the elegant and delicate guns then in vogue in France. What they achieved was not something entirely new but, rather, an amalgamation of the best and simplest forms of various types of snaphaunce. Their only entirely new idea was the internal vertical sear that engaged in two notches (for half and full cock) in a tumbler attached to the end of the cock spindle. Nevertheless, the result was to prove a major advance and set the course of European gunmaking for the next two hundred years. The maker of our pistol, François Poumerol, must have been well aware of what the Le Bourgeois brothers were working on in nearby Lisieux but he continued to make wheellock and snaphaunce guns and to set his face against change. Indeed, in the poem that he addressed to King Louis XIII in 1631 he specifically championed the older snaphaunce lock against the new flintlock. In his view, far more sparks fell into the pan of a snaphaunce lock than that of a flintlock and this made the snaphaunce more effective and reliable. Despite his obvious and great abilities as a gunmaker the tide of history was to prove him wrong. The age of the flintlock was at hand. Apart from the long gun by Poumerol in the Musée de l’Armée mentioned above and a carbine in the same collection (no. M. 144, identifiable as Cabinet des Armes no. 50), most of the firearms attributed to him, because they are marked with the initials fp , are wheellock pistols. Apart from one pistol in the Musée de l’Armée (no. M.05010) that is of earlier form, with an ovoid butt and shorter, stouter barrel, most of these pistols, like that offered here, are distinguished by their slender and elegant form. They include a pair in the Danish Royal Collection at Rosenborg Castle (no. 7-137/147) that belonged to Anna Catharina of Brandenburg (1575–1612) who married King Christian IV of Denmark in 1597, a pair in the Odescalchi collection, Rome (nos 49–50), a pair in the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds (nos XII.1263–4), a pair of boy’s pistols that was in the collection of Henk Visser, a single pistol in the Wallace Collection, London (no. A 1177) and a single pistol in the Museo Stibbert, Florence (no. 3327). All the pistols enumerated above are of similar form, and are decorated in similar materials and like manner, to that offered here: they all have specific details in common with each other. For instance, the form and decoration of the pan of ours is directly comparable to the form and decoration of the pans of the pair in the Royal Armouries and the single pistol in the


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Wallace Collection and all of these also have identical pan-cover springs chiselled as six-petalled flowers and distinctive collared butts. They are undoubtedly all from the same workshop but what is curious is the variety of ways in which the maker’s initials are treated. For example: on our pistol the initials appear on their own in script; on the pistols in the Royal Armouries the initials appear again on their own but in serifed capitals; on the pistol in the Wallace Collection the initials are divided by small five-pointed star. It appears that the workshop of François Poumerol, while producing a group of very similar but uniformly elegant and high-quality pistols may have given each of them a unique signature. The pair of pistols at Rosenborg that are known to have been made for Queen Anna Catharina must have been finished before her death in 1612 and thus further help to date the rest of the group to the first half of the second decade of the seventeenth century. Provenance:

Sotheby’s, London, 20 April 1982, lot 121.

Literature:

Blair, C., Pistols of the World (London, 1968), pp. 11, 91 figs 66–7. Hayward J. F., The Art of the Gunmaker, vol 1 1500–1660, 2nd edition (London, 1965), p. 144–5, 149, 152–5. Mann, Sir J., Wallace Collection Catalogues: European Arms and Armour (London, 1962), vol. 2, p. 559. Norman, A. V. B., Wallace Collection Catalogues: European Arms and Armour Supplement (London, 1986), pp. 239–40. Reverseau J-P., Musée de l’ Armée, Paris: Les Armes et la Vie (Paris, 1982), pp. 97–8, fig. 14. Rimer G., Wheellock Firearms in the Royal Armouries (Leeds, 2001) p. 46.


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17. An Exceptionally Fine and Rare Central European Alabaster Effigy of a Nobleman in Fantastic Parade Armour, probably by a Netherlandish sculptor, circa 1615 Finely carved and almost in the round, the sculpture representing a man lying in state wearing armour, with his head and shoulders resting on a tasselled cushion and his hands crossed loosely over the hilt of a sword, the figure forming the main and upper part of an effigy carved from one large piece of delicately veined, off-white alabaster and hollowed out at the back. The lower third of that effigy, including the legs from above the knees, possibly a helmet and the pertinent part of the bier, appear to have been carved separately before being fitted to the rest and are now missing. The angular and youthful face of the man displays finely carved, distinctively personal features with high cheekbones, dominated by a large moustache with extravagantly turned-up ends, a goatee and the startlingly naturalistic aspects of deeply set, heavily lidded eyes that are not fully closed, together with a small mouth with slightly parted lips. The head, emerging from the starched pleats of a circular ruff, is framed by waves of undulating tresses cascading from a closely fitting cap of nine triangular sections separated by borders of descending scalework with scalloped edges, terminating at the crown in a large multipetalled floret and with a richly embroidered band encircling the figure’s brow. The torso and arms are dressed in an armour composed of richly decorated elements: a breastplate deeply embossed with large foliate scrolls, a sash, tied at the right side in a animated bow and wrapped around the waist above baroque tassets with strap work borders covering a ‘Roman’ or ‘lambrequin’ skirt all’antica of vertical strips decorated with panels of descending scalework, arm defences consisting of pauldrons comprising four embossed articulated sections extending to vambraces formed of riveted upper and lower cannons, couters embossed with grotesque zoomorphic heads at the elbows and lamellar gauntlets apparently fur-lined. The gauntleted hands are folded over the cruciform hilt of the scabbarded sword, which has spatulate quillon tips in the baroque style and a spherical pommel embossed with knops, the plain scabbard loosely wound with a belt decorated with embossed panels of stylised florets and unfurling over the right thigh of the figure. Height: 44 in

Width: 28 in

Depth: 14 in

From the second quarter of the sixteenth century an growing number of Netherlandish artists of distinction could be found embarking on a journey to Italy with the purpose of studying the increasingly famous collections of antiquities and the renowned work of the local protagonists of Renaissance painting and sculpture: this journey soon became obligatory for artists and, eventually, for any gentleman, for whom it constituted ‘The Grand Tour’ and was an essential part of his education. The artists’ travels to the south and back – initially to Florence and Venice but subsequently to Rome too – exposed them to the artistic trends prevailing in France and Germany which, in combination with their native northern proclivity for detail and texture, resulted in a stylistic idiom that was recognisably Netherlandish, despite – or perhaps because of – its apparent international nature. A further, and by no means minor, role in the development of a distinctive Netherlandish style, particularly in the design of tomb monuments, was played by French and Dutch pattern books published in the third quarter of the sixteenth century: these were handed


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down from one generation of sculptors to the next and were disseminated between workshops through visiting master sculptors and passing journeymen. From the late 1560s onwards, this ‘international’ style was spread by artists leaving the Netherlands as a result of the militant Protestantism and iconoclasm in the Northern Provinces during the Dutch Revolt and War against Catholic Habsburg rule from 1568 to 1648: this can still be felt today in the tangible absence of works of art, specifically tomb monuments, of that period in churches in the Netherlands. The exiled painters and sculptors settled wherever they could find employment and their technical and stylistic sophistication soon determined the artistic ambience of northern and central Europe. In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, tomb sculptures provided a secular counterpoint to religious imagery in churches and thus reflected not only the abilities and sophistication of the artist and his workshop but also often the prevailing trends of the area, as well as the status and tastes of the commissioning patrons. In England, for example, the customary French designs of kneeling figures on freestanding tombs, as with the tomb of Sir Thomas and Lady Sondes at Throwley in Kent by the Amsterdam sculptor Garret Jansen, or of reclining figures propped on one elbow, such as the tomb of Thomas Owen (d. 1598) in Westminster Abbey, were made fashionable by sculptors in exile from the Low Countries after about 1570. However, the traditional type of effigy, of recumbent figures lying in state, remained predominant for some time. Here the Netherlandish approach and style manifested itself in the overall exquisite technical quality of the carving, the corporeality of the portrayed and the sculptors’ preoccupation with accurately representing textures, details and ornamentation. The famous tomb of Queen Elizabeth I in Westminster Abbey, completed in 1606 by the Dutch-trained sculptor Maximilian Colt, or that of Thomas Sutton at the Charterhouse in London (1615) by Nicholas Stone – the English pupil of the distinguished sculptor and architect Hendrik de Keyser of Amsterdam, provide good examples of this approach. The predominant qualities of these monuments, besides providing a credible likeness of the deceased, are the masterful characterisation of – and differentiation between – hair and skin, linen, silk, and fur and their distinctive properties, together with the minutely detailed carving of materials with decorative surface structures, such as lace and brocade.


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These same qualities, which scholars consider typical of tomb sculpture carved by Netherlandish masters at the turn of the sixteenth century, can be observed on our fine alabaster effigy of a central European nobleman. What strikes the observer first is the remarkable wealth of detail and surface ornamentation. The profusion of floral scrolls and strapwork, particularly well shown in the embossed decoration on the figure’s breastplate and in the design woven into the brocade of the cushion, details which are present on the English monuments mentioned above, are strongly influenced by the pattern books of Hans Vredeman de Vries (1527–1604) – specifically Receuil de Cartouches (1555–7) and Grottesco in Diversche Manieren (1555) – the most popular author of such works amongst the exiled sculptors. The armour worn by the recumbent figure may seem at first glance to be a mixture of fantasy and reality, in which the defences covering the upper torso maintain at least some appearance of conventional functionality whereas the apparently incongruous straps of the ‘lambrequin’ or ‘Roman’ skirt all’antica might be thought to be imaginary. Such references to what was considered antique armour and details such as the wonderfully evocative zoomorphic heads on the elbow defences are usually found on the few surviving pieces of armour for parades and pageants associated with mid-sixteenth century Milanese workshops, such as that of the Negroli. However, parade armour embossed with comparably opulent scrollwork decoration, but of conventional construction, was occasionally made in the Netherlands, as we know from a particularly splendid parade armour garniture of unsurpassed grandeur, complete with horse-armour, made in 1563–4 by Elisaeus Libaerts of Antwerp for King Eric XIV of Sweden and now in the Rüstkammer of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Inventory Numbers M100 and M106). However, it is possible that the sculptor of our fine effigy was more concerned with effect than truthful representation, and that, probably inspired by print sources such as Vredeman de Vries’s trophies framing portraits of Roman emperors, he invented a suitably magnificent historicising costume. That being said, however, it is equally possible that the armour represented by our effigy was not fanciful at all but that many of its elements accurately represent an armour all’antica or alla Romana of the type fashionable in Europe following the revival of interest in the antique during the Renaissance. Such ‘parade’ or ‘pageant’ armours were popular throughout the sixteenth century and frequently included ‘lambrequin’ or ‘Roman’ skirts and zoomorphic elements, such as lions’ mask pauldrons. Even as late as 1672 a Swedish king, Charles XI, commissioned such an armour which was made in gilded brass and leather for the king’s coronation ‘carousel’ and survives today in the Livrustkammaren in Stockholm (various Inventory Numbers): it has a breastplate decorated with swirling foliage and edged at the bottom with a lambrequin basque above a long ‘Roman’ skirt with chamois and brass-scaled straps. Although many of these armours also included ‘muscular’ breastplates in imitation of the Roman lorica – which our effigy conspicuously lacks – the combination of zoomorphic couters with a ‘Roman’ skirt clearly hints very strongly that our effigy is portrayed in parade or pageant armour of this type, albeit with elements, such as the cap and the gauntlets, that undoubtedly refer to the figure’s place of origin. Regardless of his armour, this figure is without doubt meant to provide a portrait – perhaps even a posthumous image derived from a death-mask or a drawing of the man on his deathbed, given the rather unnerving naturalism of the partly closed eyes and partly opened mouth. This focus on truthfulness in the representation is further enhanced by the realistic rendering of the man’s fashionable and luxuriant moustache and mane of locks as well as by the inclusion of elements in his dress which not only provide a fairly precise indication of the actual date of the portrait but also of its original location.


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The pleated ruff is of a type that was worn in the last quarter of the sixteenth century throughout Europe by the upper strata of society but that can occasionally still found in portraits, albeit mainly provincial ones, dating from the next decade. The comparatively advanced, almost proto-Baroque, style of the less formal details of the effigy, such as the vigorously twisted cushion tassels and the swirling bow of the sash, suggest that it dates from the beginning of the seventeenth century. The second item to offer quite specific information to the observer is the remarkably detailed cap worn by the figure. This idiosyncratic piece of clothing derives from the süveg, originally a tightly fitting felt cap worn as part of Hungarian national costume. More refined variants of this headgear, made of velvet and, as with our figure, beautifully decorated with gold braid, were, however, found in Prague, namely in the tombs of Emperor Maximilian II (d. 1576) and that of the (Danish) astronomer to Emperor Rudolf II, Tycho Brahe (d. 1601), (Maximilian cap, Prague Castle, Inventory Number PHA 26/4; Brahe cap, Museum of the City of Prague, Inventory Number 86562). This suggests that this type of cap in its elegant manifestation was introduced to the Imperial Court in Prague in the late 1560s by Maximilian II when King of Hungary (1563–72) and that it was worn there occasionally until the early years of the seventeenth century. However, according to a romantic reconstruction – a nineteenth-century portrait of Sigmund III Vasa, King of Poland 1587–1632, by the Polish artist Jan Matejko (1838–93) – a richly embroidered variant of this cap was worn by the king either as or instead of a crown. The third clue to the origins of the portrayed man is provided by the lamellar gauntlets, which fit neither with the relatively conventional, nor the all’antica, parts of the armour, and which have been sculpted with a degree of great care that results in realistic detail. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, lamellar or scale armour was widely in use by the Ottoman cavalry: in 1600 Ottoman forces still occupied the majority of Hungary and their arms and armour was thus well known in central and eastern Europe. In the third quarter of the seventeenth century, Ottoman armour even gave rise to a particularly spectacular, Polish version: the karacena armour, karacena being derived from ‘Saracen’. Although no gauntlets of similar design are known to survive from the early seventeenth century, it seems likely that their origin, like that of the cap, is to be found in central Europe and most probably in Poland. The provenance of our effigy is unknown. Also lost, therefore, is any knowledge of the architectural context it originally occupied: the setting created for it by the sculptor and the origin and, perhaps, identity of the commemorated deceased. We only know, from the fact that the left side of the figure beyond the angle covered by the arm and thigh were left comparatively unadorned, that it was supposed to be seen from the right side. This implies that the effigy was placed with its left side against the wall, probably raised to just below eye level and set on top of a tomb shaped like an altar. If the sculptor used Vredeman de Vries’s pattern books, not only for the ornamental scrolls and strapwork, but also relied on his plates (such as those engraved by the Doeticum brothers for Cenotaphorium, published by Hieronymous Cock in 1563) to provide his inspiration for the tomb design, it is very probable indeed that the original tomb was surmounted by a canopy raised on slender columns. It also seems likely, from the hollowing of the back to reduce unnecessary weight and the construction of the figure in separate and easily transportable sections, that the workshop where the sculpture was carved and the church where it was installed were some distance apart.


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Our effigy is a particularly fine and exceedingly rare instance of a tomb sculpture carved in what can be termed the ‘international’ Netherlandish style of the late sixteenth century. Some details in the costume of the portrayed man indicate, as we have demonstrated, that it was most likely originally placed in a central European church. As the figure is not wearing one of the known variants of Spanish court dress or armour of conventional form that were obligatory at that time for a nobleman of the Holy Roman Empire, we can exclude the city of Prague – at that time the capital city of the Empire – as the potential site of that church. Hungary can similarly discounted, as it was still occupied largely by the Ottoman Empire, which would have frowned on such display of wealth and power by one of its subjects. This leaves Poland, then at the height of its power and influence to the East and North, incorporating much of what is now Lithuania and with close diplomatic links to the Empire in the West, as the most likely original setting for the tomb that once housed our magnificent and unique sculpted alabaster effigy. Literature:

Fiamminghi a Roma 1508–1608, Exhibition Catalogue, Palais des Beaux-Arts (Bruxelles, 1995). Frank-van Westrienen, A., De Groote Tour: tekeningen van de educateriereis der Nederlanders in de zeventiende eeuw, (Amsterdam, 1983). Fucicova et al.,Rudolf II and Prague, Exhibition Catalogue, Prague 1997, (English ed., London, 1997). Gergvers, V., The influence of Ottoman Turkish textiles and costume in Eastern Europe I, (Toronto, 1982). Gerszi, Th., ‘Le problème d’influence réciproque des paysagistes rodolphins,’ Bulletin du Musée Hongroise des Beaux-Arts, 48–9 (Budapest, 1977), pp. 105–128. Hayward, J. F., ‘The Revival of Roman Armour in the Renaissance’, in Held, R. (ed.), Art, Arms and Armour: an International Anthology, I, (1979–80), pp. 144–63. Panofski, E., Tomb Sculpture, (New York, 1992). Pfaffenbichler, M., ‘Den antika rustningens pånyttfödelse under Renässansen’, in Rangström, L. (ed.) Riddarlek och Tornerspel, (Stockholm, 1992), pp. 109–26. Rangström, L., ‘Modelejon i romersk dräkt’, in Rangström, L. (ed.), Modeljon Manligt Mode 1500-tal 1600-tal 1700-tal, (Stockholm, 2002), pp. 183–95. Turnau, I., History of Dress in Central and Eastern Europe, (Warsaw, 1991). Vignau-Wilberg, T. In Europa zu Hause – Niederländer im München um 1600, Exhibition Catalogue 2005–6, (Munich 2005).


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18. A Very Fine and Rare Pair of Swiss Brass-Barrelled Flintlock Holster Pistols by Felix Werder of Zürich, circa 1650 The flat lock plates of gilt copper alloy with bevelled borders, a markedly down-curved lower edge and decorated with hatched leaf and foliate scrolls; the angular pans also of gilt copper alloy; flat iron scroll cocks and squat, angular frizzens with internal springs; the locks secured to the stocks by two side nails; full stocks of ebonised fruitwood down-curved at the lock to take the residual wheellock shape, with fluted fore-ends, flat side plates with incised line borders and straight octagonal grips swelling to the ‘fishtail’ butts and decorated with single incised lines at the borders of each face; gilt copper alloy mounts; the pommel caps each cast with a grotesque human mask in high relief; the stirrup trigger guards springing from the down-curve of the stock, secured front and rear by copper alloy screws and decorated on the underside with cast wave patterns angling away from central axial grooves; scrolling gilt triggers, plain fore-end caps, rammer pipes and tips; no rammer tail pipes; long, tapering, octagonal barrels of gilt copper alloy, the upper three flats engraved at the breech with serpentine hatched foliate scrollwork, the short tangs tapering to a point and engraved with overlapping pointed scales or leaves. Overall length: 19 3⁄4 in

Barrel length: 12 13⁄16 in

Although unsigned, these pistols can be attributed with confidence to the Zürich gunmaker and goldsmith Felix Werder (1591–1673) who specialised in making both wheellock and flintlock guns with copper alloy lock plates and barrels. Approximately thirty of his firearms are known to have survived, the majority being not flintlocks, like the pistols now offered here, but wheellocks. A relatively small number of Werder’s guns are signed but some of those that are not have been found to have a maker’s mark in the form of a shield charged with a pentagram on the inside of the lock plate: this symbol is found on the Werder family Arms. In any case, even without signature or mark, his guns are sufficiently distinctive and similar in style to each other as to be unmistakable. Felix Werder worked in Zürich for his whole career and was a member of the Zürich Goldsmiths’ Guild, of which he became a master craftsman in 1616. His first known firearm, signed on the inside of the lock and dated 1630, is a pistol now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (acc. no. 10.42). It is unlike his later guns in that it has an iron barrel sheathed in copper alloy at the breech and a stock wonderfully inlaid with engraved silver. Most Zürich gunmakers were members not of the Goldsmiths’ but of the Blacksmiths’ Guild and it may be that Werder did not begin his career as a gunsmith at all, though the consummate workmanship that all his guns exhibit prove that even if he did not begin as one he certainly became a quite wonderful gunmaker. The earliest of his guns to survive that has one of his distinctive copper alloy barrels is a wheellock dated 1640 that was in the De Cosson and Rutherfurd Stuyvesant Collections and is now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (acc. no. 52.208.5). Our pistols are, in form and decoration, almost identical to the only known pair of Werder doublebarrelled pistols that was sold from the Schloss Dyck Armoury of the Princes zu SalmReifferscheidt-Dyck by Christie’s, London on 15 April 1992, lot 270. Those are among the earliest known double-barrelled pistols fired by a single trigger. Both of these pairs are also very similar to


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an unsigned pair from the collection of Carl Gustav Wrangel (1613–76), commander-in-chief of the Swedish army in Germany for the last three campaigns of the Thirty Years War, in Skokloster Castle, Sweden (nos 5715/6). The major differences are that ours and the Schloss Dyck pair lack the moulded step at the breech of the Skokloster pair and that ours and the Schloss Dyck pair have a more pronounced concave curve to the back of the trigger guard. Apart from that, the three pairs appear identical and must all date from the same period. They all have the ‘transitional’ lock plates with a residual down-curve that was developed to hold the large wheel of French type wheellocks but which has no practical purpose on a flintlock. This suggests that they all date from an earlier period than the flintlock pistols by Werder with straight lower edges to their lock plates, such as the pair that was in the collection of Clay Bedford and which had the ancient arms of the Duchy of Austria (gules a fess argent) cast on the butts. Indeed, they seem to be datable to the very middle of the seventeenth century and Arne Hoff has suggested that the examples of the group known to him are of the same date as a garniture of two pistols and a carbine that Werder himself presented to the city of Zürich in 1652. The pistols of this set are still in Zurich in the Schweizerisches Landesmuseum (nos K.Z. 5316/7) but the carbine was at some time separated from them and is in the Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (no. A 1454). The lock of the carbine, though it lacks the pronounced down-curve of the locks of our pistols, still angles down slightly and is clearly of transitional form between the wheellock-like early flintlocks of Werder and his later straight-edge, pure, flintlocks. The carbine of the set presented by Werder to the City Council of Zürich is signed on the barrel and in the inscription Werder describes himself as ‘inventor’. The word may mean no more than ‘maker’ but usually on firearms it means the person who designed either the gun itself or its decoration. At first, it was conjectured that Werder might have been the creator of the true flintlock itself but once Torsten Lenk had shown that this type of lock pre-dated Werder’s firstknown gun, attention switched to the unusual barrels that are a feature of his firearms and Hans Schedelmann suggested that the invention was of a particular and very strong copper alloy. Apparent corroboration of this came when it was discovered that in 1662 Werder had offered to sell a metal called ‘orichalcum’ to the Royal Society in London. Werder claimed that by adding a secret ingredient this metal could be made so tough that he could cast barrels from it that would


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be half the weight of iron ones but yet would withstand a double charge. He had certainly chosen the name of the metal well for, according to Plato, orichalcum was mined in legendary Atlantis and was second in value only to gold. Subsequently it was thought to be some sort of copper alloy, perhaps even an alloy of copper and gold (tumbaga). However, when tests were instigated some forty years ago by Dr Arne Hoff at the Tøjhusmuseet, Copenhagen, it was found that the thin barrels of a pair of pistols in the museum bearing Werder’s pentagram mark (nos B-678-9) were made not of some ‘wonder’ metal but of a perfectly standard copper alloy with some lead added for malleability. What was unusual was evidence of extensive cold hammering after casting. Dr Hoff persuasively suggested that this was the real ‘invention’ of Felix Werder and that cold hammering was what enabled him to produce safe and serviceable barrels of much thinner brass than was usual both before and after his time. However, as Werder kept his method secret there is no contemporary corroboration to prove this theory correct. In accepting Werder’s gift to the city on 10 March 1652, the Council of Zürich resolved to preserve the guns ‘in the City Arsenal as rarities in memory of their inventor, and further that they should not be given away without the knowledge and approval of their excellencies’. Despite this, and with or without Werder’s approval, it seems likely that the carbine now in the Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, Vienna, was at some time presented by the city of Zürich to one of the Habsburg emperors. This is made more likely by a passage in the Kriegs-Buchlein (Book on the Art of War) written in Zürich by Hans Conrad Lavater in 1644, although it was not published until 1667, that refers to gilt brass pistols sent from Zürich as presents to foreign princes. Although the book does not refer to Werder by name, it seems certain that the reference is to his pistols, as no other Zürich maker is known to have made such guns. This may explain why a Werder pistol formerly in the W. Keith Neal collection had an inventory number showing that it had been in the Cabinet des Armes of King Louis XIII of France. After a long and active life Felix Werder died in 1673 at the age of eighty-three, the last of his family, and took to the grave his skills and the truth about his ‘invention’ of thin copper alloy barrels. Provenance:

Sotheby’s, New York, 3 March 1984, lot 226.

Literature:

Dean, B., The Collection of Arms and Armour of Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, 1843–1909, (New York, 1914), no. 193. Gusler, W. P. and Lavin, J. D., Decorated Firearms 1540–1870 from the Collection of Clay P. Bedford, (Williamsburg, 1977), pp. 142–3, no. 55. Hayward, J. F., The Art of the Gunmaker, vol. 1 1500–1660, 2nd edition, (London 1965), pp. 256–8. Hoff, A., ‘The Significance of “Inventor” in Felix Werder’s Signature’, in Held, R. (ed.) Arms and Armor Annual, vol. 1, (Northfield, Illinois, 1973), pp. 162–9. Meyerson, Å. and Rangström, L., Wrangel’s Armoury (Stockholm, 1984), p. 285. Schedelmann, H., ‘Felix Werder Goldschmied und Büchsenmacher in Zürich’, Alte und Neue Kunst, (Zürich, 1953), p. 8.


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Portrait of Salieh Aga, Ambassador from Tripoli to King George I of Great Britain Sir Godfrey Kneller, (1646–1723) Courtesy of Sotheby’s Picture Library


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19. A Fine and Extremely Rare Ottoman Trousse, dated 1657–8 Comprising a wooden scabbard, richly covered and decorated in gold and silver, enclosing three knives of varying sizes. The knives all with ivory grips and pommels, the faceted grips riveted to the blade tangs with three rivets and the faceted pommels essentially four-sided with sloping tops giving a ‘beaked’ profile, the pommels separated from the grips by a narrow collar of brass and blackened striped decoration; the blade tangs sheathed and collared in silver, the collars faceted; the blades of the knives in crucible steel, the larger two knives’ blades having leaf-shaped points with central ridges running back to robust back edges, fullered at their sides above undulating lines of inlaid silver leafwork and decorated along their flat backs with chiselled panels and lines, the back edges of both knives and the forte of the larger struck with an oval mark comprising a European crown above the Gothic letter l; the blade of the smallest knife being of semi-yataghan form, hollow-ground and single edged without any decoration. The wooden scabbard decorated in its centre with fluted and engraved niello work and at its top and bottom with extensive panels of chiselled openwork arabesques in gold; the upper panel terminating at its base in a collar of seven ridges to which, at the rear of the scabbard, is attached a chiselled gold swivel through which passes a gold wire tassel ending in a knop and to which is attached a brass inventory tag struck with the number J.G. 202; the lower panel terminating at its upper end in pierced panels of large arabesques in gold and silver, incorporating a plain gold band, widening at the centre, in its upper part and a small panel engraved with an Arabic inscription translating as ‘owned by alJadurash (?) bin al-Haji Hasan in the year 1068’; the base of the scabbard terminating in a silver semi-sphere decorated with green, dark blue and light blue champlevé enamel patterns and itself terminating in a silver button chiselled with a floret; the upper silver mount of the scabbard forming a collar above the upper panel of arabesques and also decorated with green, dark blue and light blue champlevé enamel patterns, the mount extending over the top of the scabbard, where it is chiselled in floral patterns and separates the mouths of the knives’ individual scabbards, small portion missing. Overall length: 25 1⁄4 in Blade lengths: 11 1⁄4 in, 10 3⁄4 in and 7 in


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The floral decoration on the highly decorated scabbard of our fine trousse is typically Ottoman and in a style found on weapons dating from the late sixteenth century to the late seventeenth century. Characteristic of this form of decoration is the so-called Saz leaf-and-rose-petal design, the pierced split-leaf motif and the delicate floral arabesques worked in niello. The particular style of the Saz leaves on the scabbard of our trousse differs from examples that have been dated to the sixteenth century since the sides of the leaves on our scabbard are smooth, rather than serrated, and the leaf forms are for the most part arranged in tiers. An Ottoman mace decorated with an identical Saz leaf and split-leaf design to that manifested on our scabbard is in the collections of the Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe (no. D 242) and was first recorded in the inventory of the collection of the Margrave Hermann of Baden-Durlach (1628–91) in 1691. Three trousses similar to ours and certainly from the same Ottoman workshop are preserved in the collections of the National Museum, Copenhagen (no. EMb16), the Historisches Museum, Dresden (no. Y 084), and the Wallace Collection, London (no. OA 1916). The scabbards of the examples in Dresden and London are neither inscribed nor struck with silver marks but the example in Copenhagen is first recorded in an inventory of the Danish Royal collections in 1674 and that in Dresden is first recorded in an inventory of the Saxon electoral collections of 1697. A single dagger with a hilt and blade very similar to those in this group of trousses is in the collections of the Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe (no. D 42), its scabbard being struck with an Ottoman tamga, or silver mark, used during the reign of Sultan Mehmed IV (reigned 1648–87). Finally, a similar trousse is depicted in a portrait by Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646–1723) of Salieh Aga, Ambassador from the Ottoman province of Tripoli to the Court of King George I of Great Britain (reigned 1714–27). Uniquely, of all the known and recorded Ottoman trousses of this style, our trousse is inscribed with both a name and a date: ‘owned by (al-Jadurash?) bin al-Haji Hasan in the year 1068’. The Islamic calendar for the Hijra year 1068 equates to the Gregorian, or modern western, calendar for the years 1657–8 and so the tiny inscription on its scabbard allows us to date our fine and uniquely dated trousse exactly. The European marks struck into the blades of the larger two knives seem certain to be inventory marks of the type that would have been added during the time that our trousse formed part of the Royal Hanoverian collections.


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All the comparative evidence presented above shows that our trousse is certainly Ottoman and that it relates to a small group of such trousses that can be dated to the later years of the reign of Sultan Mehmed IV. With the exception of the example in the Wallace Collection, the provenance of all these trousses can be traced to Royal or princely collections: this is also the case with the mace in Karlsruhe. Unfortunately, it is not known how these trousses entered the various collections and thus we cannot be certain that any were, necessarily, taken as booty or souvenirs following the collapse of the Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683. Because of their provenance, it may be most likely that they were diplomatic gifts from the Ottoman Sultan to the European kings or princes who originally owned them. The place of these trousses’ manufacture in the Ottoman empire is equally unknown. The use of delicate floral arabesques executed in niello in the centre of the scabbard might seem to suggest manufacture in Istanbul but the closest comparisons of the enamelled sections forming the collar and base of the scabbard can be made with North African champlevé enamels datable between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries. Characteristic of this style of champlevé enamels are the wide borders around the enamelled sections and the extensive use of pale blue and green. One of the earliest objects manifesting this type of champlevé enamelling is a sword in the Nasrid style in the Topkapı Sarayı Museum, Istanbul (no. 1/111): it is thought that this sword must have been made in North Africa shortly after the fall of Granada and the subsequent expulsion of the Moors from Spain in 1492. Other items with similar styles of enamelling include not only jewellery but also a series of hilts for sabres, one of which is dated 1756 and another of which is inscribed amali tunis : ‘made by Tunis’ or ‘made in Tunis’. Many of these sabre hilts are also stamped with North African silver marks that differ from the silver marks used in Turkey and consist of an Arabic word encircled by a border of pearls. A sabre with a typical North African hilt in the Topkapı Sarayı Museum, Istanbul, incorporates a decoration of tiny petalled roundels of exactly the same type as those decorating the enamelled ball at the base of the scabbard of our trousse. When Nasrid, or Islamic, Spain in Granada was conquered by the Spanish Christian armies of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, of Castile and Aragon, in 1492 many Islamic artisans, including those skilled in enamelling, were forced to flee. This emigration continued throughout the sixteenth century, with the final


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expulsion of the remaining Moriscos (Moors) from Spain taking place between 1598 and 1610. Most of those expelled from Spain because of their Islamic faith fled to either the Scherifite empire of Morocco or to the Ottoman territories of Algiers and Tunis. Algiers had been conquered for the Ottoman empire between 1516 and 1520 and Tunis fell in 1531, being recovered by the Emperor Charles V in 1535. In 1574 Tunis was recaptured by the Ottoman Turks and power placed in the hands of local governors called Deys; by the early seventeenth century the Deys had established a quasi-independent dynasty. It seems most likely, from the style of their decoration and enamelling, that the group of trousses of which ours is a unique member were made in Ottoman Tunis during the late seventeenth century. Provenance:

The Armoury of the Dukes of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and their successors, the Kings and Princes of Hanover, successively housed in the Wolfenbüttel Zeughaus, Schloss Blankenburg and Schloss Marienburg, Lower Saxony.

Literature:

Dam-Mikkelsen (Gundestrup) B., and Lundbæk, T., Ethnographic Objects in the Royal Danish Kunstkammer 1650–1800, (Copenhagen,1980), p. 68. Gundestrup, B., The Royal Danish Kunstkammer, 1737, vol. II, (Copenhagen, 1995), p. 276. Majer, H.G., Petrasch, E., Sänger, R. and Zimmerman, E., Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe, Die Karlsruhe Türkenbeute, (Munich, 1991), passim.


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20. A Very Fine German ‘Sword of Justice’, Solingen, Dated 1664 The globular iron pommel with a prominent tang button, decorated at the button end with a deeply chiselled design of leaves and towards its base with a close geometric pattern of silver points; the elaborate, spirally formed grip covered by a weave of iron and copper wire in a chequer pattern and incorporating a band of plaited wire wrapping around the grooves of the spiral, with a brass ferrule securing the assembly at each end; the crossguard swelling at the centre, where it is engraved with a deeply chiselled splay of acanthus leaves, at its base is secured a shaped piece of red velvet designed to fit over the mouth of the scabbard; the quillons bearing a decorative geometric design of silver points similar to those upon the pommel and terminating in grotesque, zoomorphic finials; the parallel edges of the broad steel blade terminating in a squared-off tip, from which five slender fullers run towards the hilt for approximately three-fifths of its total length on both faces; decorated with etched and gilt devices against a blued background, including a trophy of arms, incorporating a drum, a cannon, flags, lances and other martial items, and an armorial achievement incorporating a unicorn rampant regardant and the date 1664, above a scroll bearing the name henningremers; between decorative devices of foliage, the following inscription:

omnia si perdas fa mam servare me mento qua semel amissa postea nullus eris Beneath the armorial achievement, the inscription:

nulla salus bel lo pacem te posci mus omnes similarly executed etched designs upon the reverse face of the blade, also upon a blued background, depict Hector of Troy with the legend hector troian , and his legendary adversary Achilles with the words achilles dux græcorum ; a makers’ mark in the form of a mitred bishop’s head at the forte; with its original scabbard of thin, leathercovered wood with two raised bands at its upper end, the area around these incorporating faint, finely tooled geometric lines. Overall length: 44 in

Blade length: 34 5⁄16 in

Weight: 4 lb 9 oz

Highly decorated ‘Swords of Justice’, such as our particularly fine example, were specialised variants of the ‘bearing swords’ discussed in the entry for item 9 in this catalogue. Whereas those ceremonial swords stood as symbols of the power and prestige of a lord, prince or city, the Sword of Justice came to symbolise the power of the law and specifically its application by enforcement. These special pieces were themselves derived from the almost identical executioners’ swords and


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were intended to be displayed in courts of law or carried upright before judges and other legal officials as tokens of those individuals’ authority over life and death. Swords specifically made for the use of executioners were used extensively in mainland Europe from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries and were known in German-speaking lands as Richtschwerter. By their very nature, they were not, strictly speaking, weapons but, rather, tools used by trained executioners (Scharfrichten – lit. ‘sharp judges’) for decapitation. The Normans are thought to have introduced the sword as a means of execution to England but its use there was soon supplanted by the executioners’ heavy axe which was, by comparison, a relatively crude instrument. Of the very few people known to have been executed by the sword in England the most noteworthy was Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII. A highly skilled French headsman (in France the term used was bourreau) was brought over from St Omer specifically for the task in 1536. The distinctive form of the executioner’s sword was dictated by its purpose – to decapitate the condemned prisoner with a single swift, clean cut – and for this reason such swords display certain differences to other swords. The most obvious of these was the lack of a point to the blade: this was not needed when the executioner’s task was to remove the head of an unresisting (or restrained) victim. Some Richtschwerter have a spatulate, rounded tip akin to those found on fourteenth-century swords, while on others the tip is pierced with three small holes, perhaps to prevent it being ground to a point and to preserve its intended purpose. The blades of these executioners’ swords are always quite long (approximately 33 1⁄2–39 1⁄2 in) with extremely sharp, parallel edges. These blades are usually of flattened oval or flattened hexagonal section and are, necessarily, disproportionately heavy. The swords’ grips are long enough to accommodate two hands so that a very powerful cut could be delivered and, although not strictly necessary, the quillons of the crossguard tended to be relatively short. In some cultures, death by the sword was generally considered to be more honourable than other forms of execution and was usually the privilege of the nobility. Indeed, when compared to prolonged strangulation by hanging or the barbaric horrors of the ‘wheel’, as suffered by countless common folk throughout


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the ages, a quick death by decapitation must have appeared relatively merciful. Of course, the high quality of the sword had to be matched by the skill of its user. Many headsmen risked being lynched by the crowds that generally gathered to watch the grisly spectacle if they delivered a clumsy or inhumane blow and executioners were often attended by guards, especially if their work took them to unfamiliar communities. The developed form of the executioner’s sword seems to have appeared by the middle of the fifteenth century or a little later. Illustrations and paintings of execution scenes that date from before this time tend to show the use of a typical knightly ‘long sword’ or ‘sword of war’ and it is reasonable to assume that these types occasionally remained in use in this capacity until the midsixteenth century. One of the earliest paintings to depict a Richtschwert as such is the left panel of the ‘Mystic Marriage of St Catherine’ by Hans Memling, painted 1474–9: in this painting, the executioner is depicted placing the newly decapitated head of St John the Baptist upon a plate with his right hand while still holding his sword with his left. After this date there are many paintings, manuscript illustrations and woodcuts that depict these swords in their final and developed form. When comparing the typical executioner’s sword with the ceremonial Sword of Justice, the only real difference was in the decoration applied to the piece in question. Most swords intended for actually carrying out executions tended to be rather plain and featured only simple, engraved marks such as a gallows or a stylised representation of the ‘wheel’. Others had short names or phrases inscribed upon them. For example, a sword belonging to the eighteenth-century headsman CharlesHenri Sanson was named ‘Justicia’. A late seventeenth-century example of a sword of this type was offered for sale by Christie’s London, 16 December 2003, lot 118. By contrast, Swords of Justice were typically highly decorated, with many being engraved or etched with allegorical figures or scenes of torture or punishment. These figures were often complemented by appropriate verses and mottoes, such as those on the blade of a sword offered in our 1996 catalogue (item 127). On that piece, the single wide fuller of the blade is inscribed with a passage in German that translates as, ‘When the poor sinner is denied life, then he will be placed under my hand, now when I raise the sword, so God give the poor sinner eternal life.’ A very similar inscription appears on another sword in the British Museum, dated 1693 (no. 1961, 2–2, 15).


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Our sword probably originates from one of the Electoral or Royal Hanoverian courts and is especially opulent in design. It depicts the Trojan War heroes Hector and Achilles on one side: these are significant because they represent the concept of vengeance. According to Homer’s Iliad, Achilles sought out Hector and killed him to avenge the death of his friend Patroclus: thus, the executioner’s sword would be used to exact judicial revenge upon a wrongdoer. These etched and gilded figures are supplemented on the opposite side of the blade by a series of Latin moral statements that can be translated thus:

omnia si perdas famam servare memento; qua semel amissa postea nullus eris. If you were to lose everything, at least remember to preserve your good name: if this is lost but once, you will be nothing. Towards the hilt is a further phrase:

nulla salus bello: pacem te poscimus omnes. There is no salvation in war: we all demand peace of you. As a possible reference to this latter inscription, a trophy of arms is depicted nearby. Also present is an armorial achievement that bears the date 1664 and this date is consistent with the style of decoration used upon the hilt and grip. A maker’s mark is shown that depicts a mitred bishop’s head: this is probably the mark of a relation or pupil of the Solingen bladesmith Peter Munich the Elder (1580–1651), who is known to have used this mark in various forms. Alternatively, it is possible that Peter Munich may have made the blade himself at an earlier date and that the decoration was applied later. The sword was in the collection of the Royal House of Hanover for many centuries. Most surviving examples of Swords of Justice date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries but our sword, with its wonderfully opulent hilt with its silvered points and zoomorphic finials and beautifully etched, blued and gilded blade, must surely stand as one of the finest. Provenance:

The Armoury of the Dukes of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and their successors, the Kings and Princes of Hanover, successively housed in the Wolfenbüttel Zeughaus, Schloss Blankenburg and Schloss Marienburg, Lower Saxony.


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21. A Rare and Important Portrait in Oils of August II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneberg in Wolfenbüttel (1579–1666) by the artist HB, 1666 Oil on canvas, re-lined and re-stretched and within a later carved, gessoed and gilded frame. The sitter half-length within an oval, facing slightly to his left, wearing a cap and a lace collar over a Greenwich armour and identified in the top left corner: Cernitur AUGUSTI augustum hac in imagine corpus, Divini testis pectoris orbis erit. H.B. fecit A.C. 10 Jan: 1666 Seleni Ætatis Anno 86 3⁄4. Canvas:

Height: 30 in

Width: 24 in

Our fine portrait of Duke August II, or Augustus the Younger, of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel was painted some eight months before his death, which occurred in Wolfenbüttel on 17 September 1666 when August had reached the remarkable age of eighty-seven years. August had led a long and active life and is depicted in our painting wearing a fine blue and gilded Greenwich armour. The fine armour depicted in our portrait was sold by Christie’s, London, 18 November 1981, lot 132, and is now in a private collection in New York City. This armour was ordered by Henry, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King James I, either for Duke Henry Julius of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1564–1613) or for his son and successor, Frederick Ulric of Brunswick (1591–1634). Frederick Ulric was the cousin of Prince Henry and visited England in the spring of 1610, when he was put in the special charge of his cousin, and, among other things, attended the festivities on 4 June on the latter’s creation as Prince of Wales. It was probably at this time that Prince Henry ordered the armour for him as a gift, though no payments were made for it until nearly two years later. On 1 May 1612, payment was authorised of £100 to ‘John Pickering Armorer to the Prince towardes the guilding and compleat garnishing of an Armour for the Duke of Brunswick’ (The National Archives E351/2793), while another payment of £80 was made ‘to Pickering the Armorer for guilding one Armour for the Duke of Brunswick and for other woorkes’ at an unspecified date, probably shortly before the Prince’s untimely death on 6 November 1612. Half of this must have been for the ‘other woorkes’, since the warrant of 11 July, 1614, authorising final payment, is for a balance of £200 owing on a total price of £340: Wheras was made in the office of our Armory of Greenwich by William Pickering our Master Workman there one rich Armour with all peeces compleate fayrely guilt and graven by the Comaundement of our late deere sonne Prince Henry wch Armour was worth as we are informed the some of three hundred and forty poundes, whereof the said William Pickering hath received of our said Late deere sonne the some of one hundred and forty poundes only for as there remayneth due unto him the some of Two hundrcd poundes. William Pickering was a distinguished London armourer, Master of the Worshipful Company of Armourers from 1608 to 1610. In 1605 he was given the reversion of the office of Master Workman in the Greenwich armouries, then held by Jacob Halder, to which he succeeded on the latter’s death in 1608, and held it until his own death in 1618. His son John (died 1626) worked under his


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father at Greenwich as well as holding the office of personal armourer to Prince Henry. The armour was sent to Brunswick in February 1613, in the care of ‘John Douglas, Gentleman’ who was paid £40 for his expenses and trouble. The armour worn in our portrait clearly descended to August II on the death of his kinsman in 1634 and it is a measure of his appreciation of its qualities that he chose to be portrayed wearing it. August was born on 10 April 1579 in Dannenberg, a city in the duchy of Lüneberg, where August’s father, Heinrich III (1533–98), had been the ruler since 1569. August was his father’s seventh and youngest son by Ursule, princess of Sachsen-Lauenburg. August’s father and his many cousins and other kinsmen, were all members of the Welf, or Guelph, family. Thus it was in 1569 that August’s father, Heinrich III, agreed to divide the duchy of Lüneberg with his younger brother Wilhelm the Younger (1535–92) and to take the lands, castle and city of Dannenberg. Part of the agreement of 1569 was that Heinrich’s descendants should inherit the lands of Wolfenbüttel when the last male heir to those lands died; this happened in 1634 and so, in 1635, August, whose title by descent was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneberg, became Duke of Brunswick-Lüneberg in Wolfenbüttel, a title usually abbreviated to Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. August II is remembered for his intellectual achievements. He published a book on chess in 1616 and another on cryptography in 1624. Both of August’s publications were written under a pseudonym. The pseudonym he chose reflects his interest in cryptography since it was ‘Gustavus Selenus’, ‘Gustavus’ being an anagram – the letters ‘U’ and ‘V’ are interchangeable in Latin – of Augustus and ‘Selenus’ being a reference to the Greek goddess of the moon, Selene, and a pun on the first syllable of the word ‘Lüneberg’, the Latin for ‘moon’ being ‘luna’. The inscription that identifies the sitter in our portrait may well have been written by August himself since it relates to his pseudonym. The first two lines are simple: ‘In this picture is seen the august form of Augustus’; the third line translates as, ‘The world will be the witness of his Divine breast’; the reference to ‘the Divine breast’ is possibly an echo from Lucretius’s poem, De Rerum Natura (‘On The Nature of Things’), expounding Epicurean philosophy, and perhaps hints at prophecy. The remainder of the inscription is: ‘HB made this in the year of Christ 1666, the year when Selenus was aged eightysix and three-quarters.’ When it was exhibited in the Tower of London in 1953, our painting’s inscription was not translated in the catalogue and the initials HB were said to stand for Hans Boiling – about whom no more was said. Benezit’s multivolume reference work Dictionnaire des Peintres . . . does not note a Hans Boiling but says that a Heinrich Boiling was a Brunswick artist of the seventeenth century: beyond that, nothing appears to be known about him. This is fine and well-painted portrait of Duke August II, in a splendid, blued and gilded armour of the best that the Greenwich workshop could produce, remains as an image symbolic of a venerable philanthropic German nobleman of the late seventeenth century. Exhibited:

Exhibition of Arms, Armour and Militaria lent by H. R. H. The Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg at the Tower of London 1952–3, cat. no. 256.

Literature:

Benezit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres . . . (Paris 1948), vol. I, p. 733. Beard, C. R., ‘An Armourer’s Receipt’, The Connoisseur, vol. LXXVII, no. 305 (January 1927), pp. 18–20.


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22. A Fine and Exceptionally Rare Pair of Turkish Miquelet-lock Pistols, circa 1680 Patilla-type miquelet locks with stepped lower edge to the plates and attached to the stocks by two side nails; the cocks with large rectangular jaws secured by a screw, the heads with wide wings curved for the fingers and a curved arm engaging the half-cock and full-cock sears that emerge through the lock plates; the frizzens in the form of combined steel and pan covers with the vertically ribbed battery faces separate and attached by a dome-headed screw, the front of each frizzen being inlaid with a foliate engraved silvered brass crescent; the cocks and frizzen screws supported by bridles, the latter in the form of a silver plate covering the frizzen spring on each lock and decorated with engraved foliate scrolls; figured walnut full-stocks with longitudinally fluted fore-ends having residual downward expansions beneath the locks with chamfered leading edges; the grips, smalls, side flats and areas surrounding the locks and ahead of the trigger guards all inlaid with brass wire arabesque scrolls enclosing insets of pewter and red, green and yellow/orange enamel; ivory pommels of turban form decorated with longitudinal fluting and set with roundels of red coral in the centre of the butt; steel curved triggers set in ivory trigger plates and protected by L-shaped steel guards rising from the downward extension of the stock; to the rear of where the rammers enter the fore-ends each pistol reinforced with a silver band stamped with serpentine borders that expand beneath and to the rear in an ogee-shaped extension, each retaining traces of gilding; the wooden rammers with fluted ivory tips; smoothbore barrels of ‘hog’s-back’ form with fine ‘damascus’ twist pattern, each inlaid with gold lines around the moulded muzzle and a double gold line at the breech flanking a line of repeated gold dots; ahead of the breech a panel of symmetrical gold arabesques that surrounds an inlaid gold mark stamped ama quli (made by Quli) with a smaller but similar panel decorating the top of each barrel just to the rear of the muzzle. Overall length: 19 in

Barrel length: 12 3⁄4 in

The form of lock found on our fine pistols has been known since the 19th century as the ‘Miquelet’ lock but before then was generally known in Europe as the Spanish snaplock (llave española). Apart from one early sixteenth-century snaplock, on a combined lance and gun in the Real Armería, Madrid, (no I.20), the first evidence of the use of the snaplock in Spain appears in the 1580s but thereafter its general adoption and perfection were rapid and it had emerged fully formed by about 1625. This Spanish lock can be distinguished from other flintlocks by its combination of horizontal cock sear and combined steel and pan cover. Alonso Martínez de Espinar, huntsman to three successive Kings of Spain, published his famous book on Spanish gunmaking, Arte de Ballestería y Montería, in 1644. In his book he distinguishes between four different types of Spanish snaplock. The best, he says, are the patilla locks as they have fewer parts and are less likely to break. Because of their strength and simplicity they soon became the most popular type of lock in Spain and rapidly found favour in Islamic lands. By the end of the 17th century this form of lock could be found not only on fine Turkish pistols like ours but also on cruder, North African pistols (see an unnumbered pair in the Museo Civico Correr, Venice), and its use quickly spread through the Islamic world as far as the Caucasus and Persia.


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Nevertheless, Turkish pistols (tabança or tabancha as they were called) of the seventeenth century are very much a rarity. This is largely because the Ottoman cavalry were slow to change from bow to gun and when they did begin to do so at the end of the sixteenth century they initially favoured the carbine over the pistol. It was not until the period of the Cretan Wars (1645–70), between Turkey and Venice, that that majority of Ottoman cavalry seems to have been equipped with pistols. Our fine pair belong to a small group in European collections that were captured during the subsequent wars between Europe and Turkey that lasted for the whole of the second half of the 17th century. Some of these undoubtedly formed part of the Türkenbeute that was seized from the defeated Turks when their siege of Vienna was broken in 1683 but the majority were gathered by soldiers and commanders who took part in many of the other campaigns and battles of these long wars. Some of these were later exhibited as part of the collections of such soldiers as the Margrafen Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden (1655–1707), Gustav Adolf von Baden-Durlach (1631–77) and Karl Gustav von Baden-Durlach (1648–1703). Even without such a firm provenance, seventeenth-century Turkish pistols can generally be distinguished by two features, both of which occur on our pair. Firstly, they usually have a small, squared, down-curve to the stock beneath the lock: this may simply be a response to the stepped nature of the patilla lock or it may indicate contact with either western European forces or, far more likely, given the amount of Dutch and British trade to the Levant at this time, with merchants selling French-type wheellocks or the flintlocks with down-curved locks that were so popular from France to Scandinavia in the first half of the century. Secondly, they have frizzens with separate battery faces that dovetail into the frizzen itself and are fixed by a screw: this arrangement, similar to that later favoured by such great English makers as the Mantons, allows the striking surface to be made of a softer metal that gives better sparks when struck and also facilitates its replacement when worn. According to James Lavin, the earlier Spanish examples have the vertical ribbing that is found on the faces of our batteries while on later examples these are reduced to simple striations: in addition, he shows that locks dating from before 1660 always have (and those dating as late as 1675 sometimes have) striking surfaces that, like ours, stand proud, whereas later ones extend flush to the edges of the battery. Allowing some years for this feature to continue in use in


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Turkey after it went out of favour in Spain, it is not unreasonable to suggest that our pistols date from around 1680 and may, therefore, have been part of the Türkenbeute taken at Vienna in 1683. A Turkish miquelet-lock pistol with a similar residual down-curve to a stock inlaid with brass wire and green-stained bone and wood is in the Historisches Museum, Dresden (no Y 308) and is likely to have come into the Saxon electoral collections as war booty. It seems probable that the barrels of our pistols were made in Persia and exported to Turkey for mounting. They belong to a group of barrels which bear similar marks, which are decorated with comparable gold arabesque ornament and which are thought to be of Persian manufacture. This group includes a long gun barrel mounted with a European flintlock and stock of about 1700 in the Baseler Hof of Margrafen von Baden-Durlach. Broadly comparable barrels are also found on a group of some ten Turkish firearms in the Armoury of the Moscow Kremlin, all of which have been dated to the second half of the seventeenth century. Provenance:

W. Keith Neal Collection.

Literature:

Astvatsaturyan, E. G., Turkish Arms, (St Petersburg, 2003), pp. 213–17. Elgood, R., Firearms of the Islamic World in the Tareq Rajab Museum, Kuwait, (London, 1995), pp. 44–5, 52. Lavin, J., A History of Spanish Firearms, (London, 1965), pp. 21, 22, 148, 157–61, 163, 165–71, fig. 18. Majer, H. G., Petrasch, E., Sänger, R. and Zimmermann, E., Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe, Die Karlsruher Türkenbeute, (Munich, 1991), passim, p. 270 , no. 222. Schöbel, J., Princely Arms and Armour, (London, 1975) p. 231, pl. 183.


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23. A Fine and Extremely Rare Early Smallsword with finely carved ivory hilt, Sinhalese, circa 1680 The hilt comprising a pommel, quillon block with arms of the hilt and bilobate shell in finely carved and pierced ivory, all in high relief in the Baroque taste; the grip now covered in crimson velvet and wound with a strip of gold lace. The pommel carved in the round in one piece with a band of flowers, leaves and fruit between a lower collar of acanthus leaves and fruit and a pommel cap of acanthus leaves. The quillon block also carved in the round in one piece, the recurving quillons swelling towards their tips and carved with foliage, the arms of the hilt carved as dolphins naiant, the dolphins’ tails and the base of the quillons springing from collars of acanthus leaves either side of the quillon block which is carved on both sides with a depiction of the Rape of Ganymede below curling foliage. The bilobate shell carved and pierced in one piece to match, both inside and outside the hand and above and below, the edges formed by paired putti and small rodents flanking winged cherubs’ heads and the centres filled with scrolling foliage, fruit and flowers. Straight double-edged blade of flattened hexagonal section and with identical design on both sides; a five-inch ricasso with engraved panels of false damascening flanking an oval enclosing the word Muscau; three narrow fullers beyond the ricasso running almost to the point; retaining traces of gilding overall. Overall length: 36 in

Blade length: 29 1⁄2 in

Smallswords with hilts of the style of our magnificently carved example are rare, their hilts representing a stylistic ‘bridge’ between rapiers proper, of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and fully developed smallswords, with knucklebow guards, of the eighteenth century. Swords with hilts such as ours are often known as ‘transitional rapiers’ but in fact are far more similar to smallswords than to rapiers and in sword-play would have been held and wielded more as smallswords than as rapiers; they also have shorter blades than rapiers and so are more properly termed ‘smallswords’. The cruciform style of the hilt demonstrated on our example was popular in the middle years of the seventeenth century and took a number of forms, some being known to contemporaries as ‘scarf swords’ or to more recent collectors as ‘pillow swords’ – the terminology reflecting the fact that they were often suspended at the time from decorative fringed baldricks that resembled scarves or the idea that, having hilts that are essentially two-dimensional, they could have been kept beneath pillows for self-defence. However, few of that type of sword had, as ours does, ‘arms of the hilt’ incorporated into the hilt design and both this feature and the shell guard, in the case of our sword formed of two lobes or shells placed back-to-back, link our sword very definitely with its rapier ancestors and place it in the third quarter of the seventeenth century. While smallswords with hilts of the form of our sword are rare, they are generally encountered in a variety of metals, most usually steel or silver and suitably embellished. Hitherto, no example of a smallsword with hilt of this form has been encountered with the components of the hilt in ivory and while it is unwise to employ the often-misused adjective ‘unique’ in respect of any man-made object, there seems every reason to believe that our sword’s exquisitely carved ivory hilt is exceptionally rare: it may even be unique. Only two other ivory-hilted smallswords have been recorded: one is in the Musée de l’Armée, Paris (no. J.307) and the other is in a private collection


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but illustrated in Norman, 1980. Both swords have fully developed smallsword hilts of conventional form, with knucklebows, and both hilts are thought to have been carved in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in the early 18th century for the western market; both have conventional European blades. Norman’s attribution of the other two swords’ hilts to Sinhalese carvers was based on the fact that both of them feature dragons’ heads of a type found on the hilts of the Sinhalese swords and daggers known as kastane (see item 36 in this Catalogue): in both cases, the ends of the knucklebows at the pommels terminate in a dragon’s head and the ends of the arms of the hilts at the shell terminate in dragons’ heads. However, elsewhere in the carving of the ivory, the decoration follows traditional Western decorative forms of the period. It is noticeable that, as on our sword, the arms of the hilt on the other two swords spring from acanthus collars on the sides of the quillon blocks, acanthus collars surround the pommel buttons and much decorative use is made of putti, or cherubs. It seems therefore reasonable to conclude that the beautifully carved and exquisitely detailed hilt of our fine early smallsword came from the workshop of a gifted Sinhalese craftsman and was commissioned by, or supplied to, a rich European who was probably a merchant. The blade of our sword is of Germanic origin and of one of the styles of blade found in smallswords during the period that such weapons formed an everyday part of the dress of a gentleman. Its form, with a ricasso of flattened hexagonal section and long narrow fullers running the length of the remainder, is another factor that links our sword to its rapier ancestors, which had similar – but much longer – blades earlier in the seventeenth century. Our sword’s blade’s decoration is typical of the late seventeenth century – the inscription Muscau probably referring to the Saxon city of Muscau, now Bad-Muskau, on the Neisse river, where it may have been made or to which the bladesmith may have wished to have it attributed. The island now known as Sri Lanka was known to the Romans early in the first century ad but not much exposed to Western influences until Portuguese merchants obtained trading rights and based themselves in outposts on the western coast in the early sixteenth century. As Portugal declined as an international trading nation, its eminence in that sphere was supplanted by the rise of the United Provinces of the Netherlands in the seventeenth century and by the 1660s Dutch merchants were in the ascendant in trading with what was by then generally known as Ceylon. The United Provinces’ alliance with Revolutionary


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France brought them into conflict with Britain in the 1790s and British forces first arrived in the island in 1796, capturing the capital, Kandy, in 1815 and retaining Ceylon as part of the British Empire until 1948. In view of the likely date of our sword, it seems most probable that it was made for the Dutch market, although the possibility exists that it might have been commissioned by either a Portuguese or a British client. Sinhalese ivory carving had been famous long before the 16th century but its decorative values and uses were primarily devoted to and reflective of local cultural attitudes. Portuguese influence changed this and opened a wide export market for the ivory carvers but the Dutch fondness for ivory in weapons decoration and mounting gave it a new dimension – which may lend credence to the suggestion that our sword was made for a Dutch client. The use of Japanese sawasa or shakudo for the mounting of Dutch swords between circa 1650 and circa 1800 is well known and so it seems reasonable to suggest that Sinhalese ivory fulfilled the same purpose for the Dutch market, albeit in a material far less robust – and thus far less likely to survive – than its Japanese counterpart. Whoever the original owner of our sword was, it remains remarkable that a sword with a hilt of this inherent fragility has survived to delight the eye in the twenty-first century. Literature:

Codrington, K. de B., ‘Western Influences in India and Ceylon: a group of Sinhalese Ivories’, The Burlington Magazine, vol. LIX, (1929), pp. 239–46. Norman, A. V. B., The Rapier and Small-Sword 1460–1820, (London, 1980), p. 348, pl. 111. Vassallo e Silva, N., ‘An Art for Export: Sinhalese Ivory and Crystal in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries’, in Flores, J. (ed.) Re-exploring the Links: History and Constructed Histories between Portugal and Sri Lanka, (Wiesbaden, 2007), pp. 279–95.


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24. A Finely Detailed French Model of a 12-pounder Bronze Cannon on its Original Field Carriage, circa 1694 The bronze barrel cast and chased overall: the cascabel decorated with a collar of acanthus; the base ring plain and with an ornamental rear sight; the vent pierced through the base of a scallop shell; the reinforce decorated with the crowned Royal Arms of France flanked by palm fronds and beneath a sun-in-splendour bearing the motto nec pluribus impar on a tripartite scroll; the dolphins formed as sea-horses; the chase decorated with the coroneted and mantled Arms of the Grand Maître d’Artillerie, the Shield of Arms encircled by the Collars, with pendant Badges, of the Orders of the Holy Spirit and of St Michael with addorsed field guns below; on the chase above the Arms a five-part scroll formed as an oval and bearing the title of the Grand Maître d’Artillerie: louis auguste de bourbon duc de maine; above the scroll and below the muzzle a tripartite scroll bearing the motto ratio ultima regum ; the muzzle decorated with a series of plain concentric rings and bearing a pyramidal foresight. The wooden carriage retaining much of its original red paint and mounted overall with iron fittings, the wheels being bound with iron hoops and the trunnions retained by hinging cap squares fitting over pierced studs on the upper sides of the carriage, through which pass broad, flat split pins . Overall length: 24 in

Barrel length: 13 1⁄2 in

Width across axle: 13 in

Our fine and detailed model is probably one of a series of guns presented to the Duc du Maine during his time as Grand Maître d’Artillerie (Grand Master of Artillery), an appointment that was one of several military posts that he held during his life. Our model is remarkable not only in the fine detail of the casting and chasing of the barrel but also in the survival of so much of the original finish and fittings on the very well made carriage. We have been fortunate in being able to offer for sale several model cannon in our catalogues since 1995. The present example is among the most significant to be offered thus far, since the decoration of its barrel strongly suggests that it is one of a group of twelve model cannon said to have been given by officers of the city of Paris to the Duc du Maine in 1694 on his appointment to be Grand Maître d’Artillerie, ten of which guns remain in the collections of the Musée de l’Armée in Paris today. Prior to the introduction of the ‘Vallière’ system for the ordering and manufacture of French artillery in 1732, French cannon were largely unregulated in their design and, to an extent, their barrel decoration, although they generally conformed to a series of regular calibres. Our model is of pre-Vallière design, although elements of its decoration would be retained in the decoration of Vallière guns after 1732: its proportions suggest that it is intended to represent a 12-pounder field piece. The carriage’s red paint, much of which remains, is a remarkable survival of the carriage’s original painted finish and replicates the colour used for the painting of the full-size French artillery carriages of the period. Louis Auguste de Bourbon, Duc du Maine (1670–1736) was an illegitimate son of King Louis XIV of France (1638–1715) and his mistress, Françoise Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Marquise de Montespan (1641–1707). Legitimised by his father in 1673, he came to live at Court in 1674 and was created Colonel-Général des Régiments des Suisses et Grisons in the same year. The subject of his first military appointment was, effectively, a brigade formed of the Swiss


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regiments that served the King of France at the time, some of which units were charged with the personal protection of the king and some of which were units of the French army: the duke was to hold that appointment until 1710 when he relinquished it to his eldest surviving son, Louis Auguste de Bourbon, Prince de Dombes (1700–55), on whose death it passed to his younger brother, Louis Charles de Bourbon, Comte d’Eu (1701–75). In 1681, the Duc du Maine became Prince de Dombes and Comte d’Eu and in 1682 he was appointed governor of the province of Languedoc, being created Duc d’Aumale in 1686, the same year in which he was admitted to the Order of the Holy Spirit, by that time France’s senior Order of Chivalry. In 1688 he was appointed General of the Galleys and promoted Lieutenant-General and in 1694 relinquished his generalship of the galleys in order to become Grand Master of the Artillery. In parallel with the system adopted by that time in Britain and other kingdoms for the marking of cannon barrels, it was the contemporary custom in France for the barrels to bear the Arms of the Grand Master of the Artillery and thus all cannon cast for the French artillery after 1694 and before 1712 – when he relinquished the post – bore the Arms of Louis Auguste de Bourbon, Duc du Maine. As an illegitimate son of King Louis XIV, the Duc du Maine bore for his Arms the Royal Arms of France, three gold lilies on a blue ground, differenced by a red bar signifying his illegitimacy and this heraldry, albeit without the colours, can clearly be seen on the chase of our model’s barrel above the addorsed field guns that proclaim the duke’s official role as Grand Master of the Artillery. The same Arms will be found on French cannon of the Vallière system cast between 1736 and 1755, during which period the Duc du Maine’s youngest surviving son, Louis Charles, was Grand Maître d’Artillerie, although it is made clear on such later guns, through the use of the Grand Master’s title, that the Arms are his and not those of his father. Our confidence in ascribing our beautiful model gun to the group presented to the Duc de Maine in 1694 rests upon the description given by Robert in his Catalogue des collections composant le Musée d’Artillerie of the barrels of the remaining ten of this original group of twelve – all of which are now in the collections of the Musée de l’Armée in Paris. In volume five of his catalogue, published in 1890, he lists the ten models as items 55 to 64 in the section on Petits Modèles Restitués, pages 98–9, and describes the barrel decoration thus, although qualifying his description in the case of certain of the smaller calibres of models, for which the barrels were clearly too small to allow a lot of detailed decoration: Le décor du premier renfort est complet pour tous les canons: 1, le soleil à la devise Nec pluribus impar; 2, l’écu de France entouré de palmes, sous couronne royale. Les fleurs-de-lis manquent sur certain écus. Le décor de la volée est complet pour les trois première pièces [the 24-, 16- and 12-pounder guns]: 1, un ruban avec la devise Ratio ultima regum; 2, sur un autre ruban: Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, duc du Maine; 3, l’écu de France entouré des deux colliers sous couronne ducale. Pour les autres pièces, le décor de la volée manque. (The decoration of the first reinforce is complete for all the barrels: 1, the sun with the motto Nec pluribus impar; 2, the Arms of France encircled by palm branches, under a royal crown. The fleursde-lys are missing on some Arms. The decoration of the chase is complete for the three larger pieces [the 24-, 16- and 12- pounder guns]: 1, a ribbon with the motto Ratio ultima regum; 2, on another ribbon [the title] Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, duc du Maine; 3, the Arms of France surrounded by two collars under a ducal crown. For the other pieces [the 8- and 6-pounder guns], the decoration on the chase is missing.).


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A comparison of the above description with the decoration on the barrel of our model will reveal how very close Robert’s description is to it. For many years, based upon an article by the late Stephen Grancsay in the Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1929, it was thought that the two missing models from the group of twelve of 1694 were in the collections of that museum but that rested upon a misreading by Grancsay of Robert’s catalogue and thus an incorrect comparison between models in the Metropolitan Museum’s collections and Robert’s catalogue entry. It thus seems far more likely that our fine model is one of the missing two from group of twelve given to the Duc du Maine in 1694. By the same token, it also seems likely that the carriage on our model is the original carriage from 1694, unlike the ten carriages of the guns remaining in Paris today, which were either replaced or restored and repainted, in blue with gold fleurs-de-lys, some thirty years – in the opinion of Robert – after the date that the barrels were cast. According to Robert, this group of guns, or at least the ten still in Paris, were left at the Château de Clagny by the Duc du Maine following their presentation in 1694; Clagny was one of the houses of the duke and from there the remaining ten guns appear to have gone to Chantilly about 1794 before being transferred to the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in the mid-nineteenth century and moving from there to the Artillery Museum, where Robert catalogued them in the 1880s. Given the original paintwork of the carriage of our model, it seems apparent that our model must have become separated from the remainder of the group of twelve very early in the eighteenth century. However, its intrinsic and untouched condition implies very strongly that our model has been extremely well cared for in the three hundred years since it was made for and presented to Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, Duc du Maine and Grand Maître de l’Artillerie Française. Literature:

Grancsay, S. V., ‘Models of cannon of the Louis XIV period’, Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York, 1929), vol. XXIV, no. 6, pp. 162–4. Robert, L., Catalogue des collections composant le Musée d’Artillerie (Paris, 1890), vol. V., pp. 98–9. Surirey de Saint Remy, P., Memoires d’Artillerie (Paris, 1745), 3rd edn., vol. I, pp. 73–130 and passim.


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25. A Magnificent and Rare Royal British or Hanoverian Huntsman’s Satchel, circa 1714–27 Of silk-embroidered fine chamois leather, fitted with a steel cantle. The bag formed of eight thin round panels of leather, sewn together all round and attached with decorative silk stitching for about two-thirds of their circumference to a narrow strip of leather forming the edge of the bag, the remaining third of the circumference being occupied by the cantle; the panels each sewn back-to-back to form four panels, two forming the outside panels and two forming dividers that separate the interior into three compartments, the upper third of the two interior dividers being sewn together with green silk and stiffened internally with ferrous wire and the upper third of the outer two panels being attached to the cantle with thick cotton or linen thread; attached to the insides of the outer panels, small leather pouches closed with leather drawstrings ending in green silk tassels; one side of the bag decorated in coloured silk embroidery with the British Royal Arms of the period 1714–1801 and the other side decorated in coloured silk embroidery with a hunting scene depicting a mounted huntsman, accompanied by two hounds, pursuing a stag, with trees in the foreground and background and birds flying and perched; the edge of the bag decorated in coloured silk with a continuous wavy train of foliage and flowers. The curved cantle in two parts, hinging at either end, intersecting one beneath the other and locking with a sprung press-stud fitted beside a doubleknopped fixed suspender with a loop at the top intersecting with a loop fixed to the middle of a broad wide belt loop; through the belt loop passes a narrow belt of two strips of leather sewn back to back along their edges with coloured silk and decorated on both sides with a central wavy train within a scalloped outer border, the decoration formed on one side by blind sewing and on the other by sewn green silk; the belt fitted with a steel two-pronged buckle. The cantle painted on one side in the centre with the Welfen-Museum inventory number W.M. I. 297 Height: 14 in

Width: 13 1⁄2 in

Our remarkable and fine satchel has survived for nearly three centuries in near-pristine condition and was clearly never used for the purpose for which it was designed and made. It exhibits an extraordinarily high level of the most finely detailed decoration in coloured silks: this decoration would once have manifested very vibrant colours but these have faded slightly with age and exposure to light, perhaps through display in the Welfen Museum in Hanover in the nineteenth century. Our satchel is as much a tribute to the art of embroidery on fine leather as it is to the magnificence of the hunting equipment provided for the sporting retinue of His Majesty King George I of Great Britain, the Elector Georg of Hanover (1660–1727). Hunting bags, or satchels, have been required by sportsmen as long as men have hunted the smaller animals, shot birds or caught fish and their equivalent is with us still, although not in fine chamois leather with coloured silk embroidery. Our pouch, purse or satchel is clearly not a bag for holding dead game: its mouth is too small to accommodate any but the tiniest of birds and it is difficult to believe that anyone would want to put bloody corpses into its rich interior – which would be almost impossible to clean adequately afterwards, even allowing for the attitudes to cleanliness and hygiene current in early eighteenth-century northern Europe. It seems more likely that our satchel – which seems the best description for it – was carried by a Royal retainer as a kind of ‘necessary’ bag, probably slung across his body by the belt that remains with it and containing


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items that might have been needed during the course of a day in the field: spare flints, patches of wadding or small containers of lubricating oil for his master’s guns, for example. A survey of contemporary paintings of sporting life in early-eighteenth century northern Europe has revealed a very similarly shaped satchel in a painting of about 1715 by John Wootton (circa 1682–1764) depicting a spaniel with dead game birds and a fowling piece (exhibited in ‘Works of Art from Midland Houses’, Birmingham, 1953; collection of the Marquess of Hertford at Ragley Hall) and a more bulbous satchel, but with a similar form of cantle, depicted in a painting of 1728 by Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1686–1755) of a dog with dead game birds and a fowling piece (Musée de la Chasse et de l’Art animalier, Château de Chambord): this implies that such satchels were used by sportsmen who shot birds. As part of the same survey, three other paintings have been identified, all also by Wootton, of mounted parties hawking and in both paintings a retainer, with a hawk on his wrist, has a satchel of similar size, although not of design, slung over his shoulder (‘A Hawking Party at Netheravon’, 1744, collection of the Duke of Beaufort; ‘A Hawking Party’, undated, with Ackermann, 1958; ‘A Hawking Party in a Wooded Landscape’ exhibited Ackermann, October 1970): this implies that such satchels had a use in the sport of hawking, perhaps for carrying spare jesses, hoods, bewits, bells, lures or lure-cords. King George II of Great Britain, like his father, also Elector of Hanover (1683–1760), is recorded as having kept hawks and, since he was an ultra-traditionalist, although not always in favour with his father, it is therefore probable that the early Hanoverian court in Britain may have actively indulged in falconry at a time when it was relatively unfashionable elsewhere in the country. Both the first two King Georges of Great Britain spent significant parts of every year of their reigns in their Hanoverian electorate, where they felt more at home than in Britain and where they enjoyed their greatest periods of relaxation. Hunting, perhaps involving falconry, may have been a feature of their time in Hanover. Whatever its original use – although we can be certain that it was intended for some branch of the field sports in which society of the time indulged so assiduously and which was accompanied by enormous amounts of ritual – we can be certain that our fine satchel was originally worn by a retainer of King George I of Great Britain, either in his role as monarch of the United Kingdom,


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where he reigned from 1714 to 1727, or in his role as Elector of Hanover, which he fulfilled from 1698 to 1727. The heraldry on one side of the bag of our satchel inextricably associates it with the Hanoverian dynasty that reigned as monarchs of Great Britain from 1714 to 1837; the quartering of the Royal Arms on our satchel changed in 1801 – when King George III finally relinquished claims to the throne of France – and this limits the date of our satchel to the period 1714–1801; the style of embroidery and the metalwork forming the cantle places it firmly in the first quarter of the eighteenth century. Thus, we can be in no doubt that our fine and rare huntsman’s satchel dates from the reign of King George I of Great Britain: whether it was used in Britain or in Hanover – if it was ever used at all – will never be known but the fact that it bears an inventory number of the Welfen Museum, established in the city of Hanover in 1861, probably implies that it was intended for use in the electorate of Hanover rather than for use in Great Britain. Provenance:

The Armoury of the Dukes of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and their successors, the Kings and Princes of Hanover, successively housed in the Wolfenbüttel Zeughaus, Schloss Blankenburg and Schloss Marienburg, Lower Saxony.

Literature:

Billett, M., A History of English Country Sports, (London, 1994), pp. 63–80. Deuchar, S., Sporting Art in Eighteenth Century England: a social and political history, (New Haven and London, 1988), pp. 48 and 82; figs. 35 and 63.


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26. A Fine and Rare Smallsword with Damascened Hilt, made in Northern India for the European Market, circa 1760 The hilt of browned steel, finely damascened overall in gold with flowers and scrolling foliage, comprising a heart-shaped ‘boat shell’ stool, knucklebow and quillons of oval section, the quillons with recurving rounded tips and the knucklebow swelling in the middle, small arms of the hilt and a pommel of inverted and truncated egg-shape (similar to Norman type 88); the grip wound with twisted and plaited silver wire and with a ribbon of browned metal wire decorated with gold pellets, all between two Turk’s heads in silver wire. The three mounts to the vellum-covered scabbard decorated en suite with the hilt, the upper two mounts fitted with loose rings for suspension and the throat of the upper mount lined with scarlet woollen cloth. The polished steel blade of ‘colichemarde’ form, with panels of blueing, gilding and engraving on both sides of the broad section, the iconography including an arm emerging from a cloud, holding the hilt of sword entwined with foliage, all within an oval wreath surmounted by a scallop shell, the motto A deux saisons and with a trophy of arms at the forte. Overall length: 40 1⁄4 in

Blade length: 32 15⁄16 in

Our exquisite smallsword is representative of one type of the very small group of smallswords of the eighteenth century that had hilts and scabbard mounts not only made outside Europe but also decorated in a non-European manner. Item 23 in this year’s catalogue is another example – the late seventeenth-century smallsword with an ivory hilt that was probably carved in Ceylon, modern Sri Lanka – and in previous catalogues we have been privileged to offer small-swords with hilts made in Japan and the Far East in sawasa or shakudo. The majority of smallswords that were made during the period that such a weapon was part of the everyday wear for a gentleman, roughly circa 1675–1800, were made with hilts in silver, silver-gilt, brass-gilt, cut steel and, very occasionally, gold. The suppliers of these hilts, and their matching scabbard mounts, were European craftsmen in urban centres from Tula to Toledo and a few similar craftsmen in centres on the north-eastern seaboard of North America. Most ‘European’ smallsword hilts reflected the current European fashion in the decorative arts – Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classical – and their metal reflected the depth of their owner’s purse; American-made hilts tended to be plainer, frequently in silver and more reflective of their Puritan and provincial cultural origins. To own a smallsword with a hilt such as ours, or an example in ivory or sawasa, was to make what would now be called a ‘style statement’: in the case of our smallsword that statement would be one consciously manifesting a sympathy for the extra-European decorative arts and not limited by the dictates of European style and fashion. Such swords as ours were the costume equivalent of the nabob’s country house, with its domes, false minarets and quasi-Islamic architecture, and the contemporary fashion for wallpapers that featured exotic birds unique to the Indian subcontinent. Although European involvement in the Indian subcontinent began in the sixteenth century, for at least a hundred years European influence was limited to a series of small trading posts scattered along the coastline of India and not until the early eighteenth century did European fortunes begin to be made from trading with the subcontinent. By that time, the principal traders were British and French and their rivalry in trade in India spilled over into open warfare, usually paralleling periods of actual war between the two countries in Europe and in North America. The


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Seven Years War of 1756–63, or French and Indian War as it was known in North America – where it was fought for the nine years of 1754–63, effectively ended large scale French trade with India – as it did active French involvement in North America. From 1763 onwards, the British East India Company went from strength to strength in India, extending its influence and enabling many of its servants and soldiers to become rich. As British trading influence in India grew, so Britons became increasingly exposed to Indian skills in the decorative arts and so these skills became exportable. The same was true of French merchants and soldiers prior to 1763, although France continued to trade with India, principally through Pondicherry, her sole remaining colony in India, situated on the south-east coast and now part of the state of Tamil Nadu. It is most likely that the majority of smallswords with hilts such as ours, dating from the third quarter of the eighteenth century, were made for a British, rather than a French, market. One of the two other published examples of this type of smallsword (Aylward, 1945; fig. 18) which has a hilt very similar to ours has been dated to circa 1760 and was mounted by the London sword cutler Rowse of Bond Street since its top scabbard mount is engraved with that cutler’s name and address. It seems clear from surviving examples, which are very few – itself an indication of the rarity of such pieces, that the hilts and scabbard mounts of this damascened type were made in northern India and then exported for mounting: thus our smallsword has a German blade and, no doubt, a British-made scabbard that would have been made to fit the blade once it was mounted in the hilt. Our sword’s blade is of the style known internationally to scholars, curators and collectors as ‘colichemarde’, or Königsmark in the German-speaking lands. This term is traditionally thought to derive from a reference to a notorious late seventeenth-century Swedish duellist and mercenary of the noble family of Von Königsmark, whose preference was said to be for a blade in which a section nearest the hilt – which varied from one-quarter to one-third of the total blade length – was broader than the remainder of the blade. This style of blade increased the proportional weight of the hilt, especially with the lighter hilts and shorter rapier, transitional rapier and then smallsword blades of the late seventeenth century: this transfer of weight improved the fencing qualities of the


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sword as a whole, enabling parrying to be achieved more quickly – with a rapid turn of the wrist – and did not compromise the thrusting qualities of the blade. Colichemarde blades in smallsword hilts are found in triangular section, as is ours, and also in flattened diamond and hexagonal section and they remained one of the styles of smallsword blade that was popular throughout the period, circa 1675–1775, when the smallsword was worn as much for defence as for decoration. The expanse of the broad section of the colichemarde blade also provided a ground on which the blade could be appropriately decorated, with symbols and mottoes, often on a blued and gilded ground and our sword’s blade demonstrates an especially fine example of this practice. It is seem likely that J. D. Aylward, among the earliest of scholars to study smallswords in any detail, had seen our sword by 1944 since he refers, although somewhat obscurely, to the motto inscribed on its blade in an article on sword blade inscriptions written for Notes and Queries in that year, ‘Perhaps the faint perfume of the Georgics found in A deux saisons (1760) appealed to some fervent admirer of Jean Jacques . . .’. Undoubtedly a reference to the philosophy and works of JeanJacques Rousseau (1712–78), Aylward’s interpretation of the motto may refer to Rousseau’s writings on the contrasts and contradictions in the eighteenth century between society and human beings in their natural state. That our sword has survived in such remarkably fine condition, with all the original polish and blued and gilded decoration remaining on the blade, is a testimony to the extent to which it has been valued since it was made and assembled two and half centuries ago – not only by its original owner but also by subsequent generations of owners privileged to own and handle such an exquisite example of the art of several different craftsmen. Literature:

Aylward, J. D., ‘Sword-Blade Inscriptions’, Notes and Queries, vol. CLXXXVII (July–December 1944), p. 179. Aylward, J. D., The Small-Sword in England, (London, 1945), pp. 36–8 and 53 and figs 17 and 18. Norman, A. V. B., The Rapier and Small-Sword 1460–1820, (London, 1980), p. 348 and pl. 136.


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27. An Exceptional and Very Rare Brace of English Silver-Mounted Three-Barrelled Flintlock Revolving Pistols by William Jover, London, circa 1776 The rounded brass action-housings formed as a cylinder at the front, in which the barrels revolve, having extensions on the right and undersides that act respectively as lock plates, carrying the pans, the flat sides of which are engraved with a panel of foliate decoration, and trigger plates; the housings engraved, on the sides and underside with naturalistic sprigs of flowers and on top, surrounded by foliate scrollwork on a hatched ground, a three-tier scroll signed with the maker’s name jover / long-acre / london , all within zigzag borders. The decoration on each pistol is similar but not identical. Attached to the right side of each of the housings are the external lock elements: a flat, bright steel, swannecked cock engraved with a panel of floral decoration; a bright-steel frizzen; a bright-steel inverted ‘V’ spring set in front of the cock with a long arm extending under the pan to work on the frizzen. Figured walnut butts exceptionally finely carved around the breech tang with a rococo scallop shell festooned with foliage in relief. Silver mounts cast and chased in high relief: the side plates formed as elaborate martial trophies involving flowers and fruit and the silver pommels with long, beaded side straps reaching the side plates, bands of zigzag ornament matching the actions, side panels with a scallop shell and a grotesque head on the cap. The escutcheons are cast as rococo trophies of arms and have engraved on them the crest of an armed dexter arm embowed holding a sword. The trigger guards of bright steel engraved with a floral spray and acting as sliding safeties; no provision for ramrods. The triple barrel assemblies hand-rotate; the bright-steel barrels round, engraved with small panels of flowers and a double line of zigzag and beadwork at the breech. To the rear of the brass action housing on each pistol, within which the barrels rotate, a bright steel breech tang engraved with floral and foliate scrolls that holds a plate engaging with the rear of the barrel assembly. Overall length: 13 in

Barrel length: 5 15⁄16 in

Firearms with revolving barrels were produced in Europe from the mid-sixteenth century. The earliest that can be dated with any accuracy is a three-barrelled matchlock pistol in the Palazzo Ducale, Venice (no N.30): this can be related with some certainty to an entry in the 1548 inventory of the Palace Armoury that lists uno scioppo da serpa con tre cane. Other similar matchlock pistols are in the collections of the Museo Civico Delle Armi Luigi Marzoli, Brescia; the barrels of another were in the collection of Elias Ashmole by the time of the 1685 catalogue and remain in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and the stock of what may be another was found on the wreck of King Henry VIII’s warship Mary Rose that sank in Portsmouth harbour in 1545. Although the principle of mechanical rotation of the barrels, or of a cylinder behind a single barrel, was known from the last quarter of the seventeenth century, hand-rotation was to remain common until the late 1830s. Despite the fact that such guns or pistols were heavier than their normal singlebarrelled counterparts, they answered a need for more rapid fire than could be achieved by any single-shot firearm and, therefore, found an enduring niche in the marketplace. Our pistols are firmly in the mainstream of this tradition and, indeed, are mechanically similar to that earliest example of the type preserved in Venice today.


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The maker of our fine pistols, William Jover (Senior), is known to have been working at 83 Long Acre in partnership with Henry Nock and John Green in 1775. It appears that the partnership was formed to make guns with enclosed flintlocks equipped with smoke-tubes, under English Patent No. 1095 that was granted to them in 1775. Jover had left the partnership to set up his own business at 337 Oxford Street by 1777, which gives a firm date-range for these pistols. In his own right, William Jover made firearms of consistently high quality and was noted in particular for those incorporating repeating and multishot systems. He was, for instance, the principal maker of rifled, Ferguson-action breechloading pistols. A pair of these, made for Lord Lowther and dating from about the same period as our pair of three-barrelled pistols was formerly in the collection of W. Keith Neal. They are embellished with fine engraved floral decoration and beadwork of comparable form and quality to that on our pistols. This quality and type of decoration is found on the work of others among the best London gunmakers and has been tentatively attributed to William Sharpe (died 1776) or his son, also William, who were both gun engravers to the Board of Ordnance and worked at the Little Minories. As well as making and supplying high quality guns to the aristocracy, Jover also supplied military weapons. In 1780 he is recorded in his own right as supplying muskets to the Board of Ordnance and in 1785 he entered into partnership with Joseph Belton to make and market Belton’s superimposed-load firearms with sliding locks. Belton, a native of Philadelphia, claimed to have invented a superimposed-load, single-lock ‘Roman Candle’ gun, a hundred of which had been ordered by the U.S. Congress in 1777. Soon afterwards, he came to London where, in 1784, a different superimposed-load gun, with sliding lock and separately fired charges, was tested by the Board of Ordnance. In 1786 the Belton-Jover partnership supplied about two hundred of these muskets to the East India Company. In 1784 William Jover formed a partnership with his son, another William, and they traded together at the Oxford Street address until the firm went bankrupt in 1796. Both father and son


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recovered from this disaster and were soon involved in yet another partnership – this time with Edward Bate – which made best quality airguns from about 1805 to 1810. Bate, who was apprenticed as a gunmaker in Birmingham in 1743, is recorded working in London from 1763, first in Brownlow Street, Long Acre, and then in Christchurch, Brixton: he was especially noted for his high-quality, silver-mounted air guns and pistols. After his bankruptcy there is no evidence that William Jover (Senior) ever traded on his own again but his son did and within two years of his bankruptcy had his own business at 65 New Bond Street. He moved from there to 26 Mortimer Street in 1801–2 and was last recorded there in 1810. Our fine pistols are very similar to each other but exhibit minor differences in both decoration and construction (for instance, the frizzen springs are formed and secured somewhat differently): this suggests that they might not have been made as a pair. They are, however, exactly the same size and were made to match. The most likely explanation seems to be that the owner bought one and then decided to have another made. Pairs of such revolving pistols appear only very infrequently on the market. Jover numbered members of the aristocracy among his clients and made first quality guns for them. However, the owner of these exceptional pistols cannot be established with any certainty. The crest on the escutcheon is known to have been borne by the family of Abel that originated in south east England and by the Irish families of Connor and Taafe. Literature:

Blackmore, H. L., Guns and Rifles of the World, (London 1965), p.80. Blackmore, H. L., English Pistols, (London 1985), p.22. Blackmore, H.L., A Dictionary of London Gun-makers 1350–1850, (Oxford 1986) pp. 102, 124, 150, 176. Blair, C., (ed.) Pollard’s History of Firearms, (Feltham 1983), pp. 210–14. Gaibi, A., Armi da Fuoco Italiane, (Busto Arsizio) 1978, figs. 23–5. MacGregor, A., Tradescant’s Rarities, (Oxford 1983), no. 89, pp. 197–199. Neal, W. K. and Back, D. H. L. Great British Gunmakers 1740–1790, (London 1975), p. 115, plates 433–4.


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28. A Very Fine and Exceptionally Rare Gorget and Shoulder-Belt Plate worn by Colonel James Stewart of Killymoon, M.P., of Co. Tyrone, Ireland, as Colonel of the First Tyrone Regiment of Volunteers, 1780–83 Both items beaten from single pieces of silver, the gorget with its rim rolled around a length of brass wire and its tips pierced for suspension ribbons, the shoulder-belt plate fitted with a silver hook and two silver studs upon its reverse; the shoulder-belt plate struck several times with the maker’s mark of Daniel Popkins of Dublin (fl. 1765–1821) and once with the standard and duty marks of the Dublin Assay Office (the crowned harp and the figure of Hibernia); both items finely engraved on their reverses with the initials js and on their fronts with scrolls bearing the regimental title first tyrone regiment and the motto pro deo rege et patria (for God, King and Country) and the crowned Harp of Erin flanked by trophies of arms; the gorget additionally engraved below the suspension holes with descending sprays of foliage. Gorget: Height: 5 in Width: 4 3⁄8 in Shoulder Belt: Height 2 3⁄4 in Width: 2 1⁄8 in The gorget was the last remnant of armour and worn by officers of the British Army from circa 1680 to 1830 as a mark of their rank and to signify that they were on duty. Suspended by silk ribbons just below the wearer’s throat, it took its name from the French for throat, la gorge. British gorgets from the period 1768–96 were noted for providing canvases for displays of regimental iconography and the gorgets of Irish Volunteers in the period 1778–82 were particularly noted for their weight, shape and extravagant decoration. The shoulder-belt plate was introduced into British military uniform during the 1770s and worn in non-Scottish infantry regiments until 1855. Like the gorget, it was used to display regimental badges and numbers but its function was to fasten together the two ends of the shoulder belt, from which was suspended the officer’s sword and the private soldier’s bayonet. In County Tyrone, James Stewart of Killymoon and his neighbours raised a number of regiments of Volunteers between 1779 and 1783. The First Tyrone regiment was raised in July 1780 and dressed in scarlet coats with deep-blue facings; the officers’ buttons and accoutrements were silver. Our gorget and shoulder-belt plate are both very finely engraved with symbols redolent of the spirit of the Volunteers: a combination of loyalty to both King and Country with the martial trappings both to resist invasion and, if necessary, to fight for freedom from injustice. An extremely rare survival of two of the most costly parts of an officer’s uniform, they are increased in their considerable historic importance by having undoubtedly belonged to the regiment’s commanding officer, Colonel James Stewart of Killymoon MP (1742–1821), an extremely important and influential figure, not only within his county of Tyrone in Ulster but also within the Volunteer movement as a whole. The outbreak of the American War for Independence in 1775 necessitated the deployment of regiments of the British Army across the Atlantic. This left the British Isles vulnerable to invasion – especially once France and Spain entered the conflict on the side of the United States of America in 1778 and 1779 – and, as a result, the English Militia was embodied, regiments of ‘Fencibles’ were formed in Scotland and, in Ireland, patriotic Irishmen raised regiments of Volunteers. Beginning


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Captain James Stewart of Killymoon, Co. Tyrone, (1742–1821) 13th Dragoons, 1767. Pompeo Batoni (1708–87). Photograph reproduced courtesy of the Trustees of the National Museums Northern Ireland

as a response to the growing threat of foreign invasion in 1778, the Irish Volunteers rapidly became a force for political and economic reform in Ireland. Since 1692, Ireland had had its own Parliament but it was not allowed to legislate without the approval of the government in London. Ireland was also forbidden to trade freely with the rest of the world. Ireland in 1778 was therefore in much the same position, vis-à-vis the British Parliament in London, as the American colonies had been prior to 1776 and their Declaration of Independence. In Ireland, the American colonists’ cause attracted sympathy and support from the land-owning Anglo-Irish Protestants who were not only Ireland’s MPs but also officers of the newly raised (and armed) Volunteers. Unable to contemplate losing Ireland as it had done America, the British government was compelled to grant both free trade and legislative freedom to the Irish Parliament in 1782: this unshackling of Ireland’s economy and government was entirely due to the Volunteers. James Stewart was the eldest son of William Stewart of Killymoon and Eleanor King of Rockingham, Co. Roscommon. He entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1758 and then served in the British Army in Ireland, purchasing a cornet’s commission in the 4th Regiment of Horse in 1761


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and purchasing promotion, in the form of a captaincy in the 13th Dragoons, in 1764; he subsequently transferred to the 2nd Regiment of Horse in 1766. Shortly before embarking on his long parliamentary career, Stewart went on the ‘Grand Tour’ on the continent of Europe. A splendid portrait of him (now in the Ulster Museum, Belfast, shown opposite) was painted in Rome in 1767 by Pompeo Batoni (1708–87), a highly fashionable painter of foreign visitors to Italy and then at the height of his considerable powers: in the portrait, shown above, Stewart is depicted in the uniform of the 13th Dragoons. Stewart became Member of Parliament for County Tyrone in 1768, having been elected unopposed to the seat that his father had previously occupied, retaining the seat continuously and without a contest for the next thirty-two years in Dublin and a further twelve after 1800 at Westminster. It was said of him in 1812 that ‘without place or pension, one shilling of public money has never found its way into his pocket . . . during a period of 44 years’. Most county seats in the Irish parliament, like most of the boroughs, were dominated by great landowning families. Tyrone was unusual at this period in having a large number of independently minded Presbyterian voters and Stewart, who was – uncommonly for an Irish landowner – a Presbyterian, would have appealed to them because of that. Though he himself was a member of the Protestant Ascendancy, as it came to be called, his father was (and remained) a Presbyterian. Stewart became one of the leading spokesmen in the Irish parliament for the northern Irish Presbyterians and was instrumental in promoting legislation to mitigate or remove the penal laws that affected them. In particular, he supported the Act that repealed the Test Act for Protestant Dissenters, proposed an Act declaring marriages by Presbyterian ministers valid and helped to secure an increase in the annual grant to approved Presbyterian clergy. The Presbyterians’ regard for him was shown by their electoral support, which was probably due in no small measure to his long-standing and implacable opposition to Catholic emancipation, an attitude that he appears to have continued to hold once the Irish parliament was abolished in 1800; he represented County Tyrone in the British parliament at Westminster. Stewart was prominent in the Volunteer movement from its foundation in the late 1770s to its suppression in 1793. He was the close ally of the Volunteer commander-in-chief, James Caulfeild, 1st Earl of Charlemont, was active at Volunteer meetings and parades and in September 1783 took the chair at the second great convention of northern Volunteer companies in Dungannon, in preparation for the national meeting in Dublin. After 1783, Stewart became Charlemont’s principal spokesman in the Irish House of Commons. In 1772 Stewart retired from the Army and in 1774 he married Elizabeth Molesworth, daughter of the 3rd Viscount Molesworth. In 1794 Elizabeth Stewart became a co-heiress of her late brother, the 4th Viscount Molesworth, and inherited a share of the Molesworth estates in Dublin City, near Swords, County Dublin. Stewart remained an active member of the Whig opposition at Westminster when returned there for County Tyrone in 1801, voting consistently against the Tory government of the day until eventually, and successfully, opposed at the election of 1812 by a group of Tory landowners in Tyrone, whereupon he relinquished his parliamentary seat. As noted above, Stewart was extremely active in the Volunteer movement. This activity was a result of his politicisation as a member of the Whig opposition to the British government of the day and its attitude to Ireland. The Volunteers, while remaining loyal to King and Country – where that country was Ireland, were firmly Protestant and highly militarised. As the governing and


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landowning minority in Ireland, Protestants were in constant fear of a Catholic uprising and doubly so when Britain was under threat of invasion from Catholic countries that, it was feared, would inspire the Catholic majority in Ireland to rise in rebellion. Thus, the regiments of Volunteers had a dual military role: to resist invasion and to keep the Catholics from rebellion. They also developed a political role that resulted in the reforms of 1782 that, for nineteen years, gave Ireland its own free parliament. Literature:

Ferguson, K. P., ‘The Volunteer Movement and the Government 1778–1793’, The Irish Sword, vol. 13, no. 52 (1978–9), pp. 208–16. Ingamells, J., A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy 1701–1800, (London, 1997), p. 897. MacNevin, T., The History of the Volunteers of 1782, (Dublin, 1882), p. 235. Maguire, W. A. (comp. & ed.), Up in Arms: the 1798 Rebellion in Ireland, a bicentenary exhibition, (Belfast, 1998), pp. 33–4. Ò Snodaigh, P., The Irish Volunteers 1715–1793: a list of the units, (Blackrock, 1995), p. 80. Patterson, T. G. F., ‘The Volunteer Companies of Ulster 1778–1793; VII County of Tyrone’, The Irish Sword, vol. 8, no. 32 (1968), pp. 210–17. Thorne, R. G., The House of Commons 1790–1820, (London, 1986), vol. 5, pp. 273–4. Wood, S. C., ‘The Gorgets of the “Gorgeous Infantry” ’, Irish Arts Review, vol. 3, no.4, (Winter 1986), pp. 49–52.


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29. A Magnificent and Unusually Large French ‘Prisoner-of-War’ Model of a First Rate British Ship of the Line, circa 1793–1801 Made from a variety of types of wood, with a hull sheathed in brass from keel to waterline and a cutwater reinforced with white metal; 132 guns arranged with 32 on the lower gun deck, 34 on the middle gun deck, 34 on the upper gun deck, 24 on the quarter deck, forecastle and beneath the poop and 8 on the poop deck; fully rigged with complete standing and running rigging fitted with carved wooden blocks; all masts with tops, the tops with plain aft rails, with all yards crossed and all topgallant masts swayed up, the main and topsail yards of all three yellow-and-black-painted masts with studdingsail booms fitted and run inboard, the mizzen mast fitted with a crossjack yard and spanker boom, the bowsprit fitted with a jib-boom, spritsail yard and single dolphin striker; the deck planked and fitted with ringed hatch covers, a belfry and bell forward of the enclosed waist and flanked by water casks; with best bower and small bower anchor catted and stowed, a twelve-oar cutter suspended from two stern davits at either end of the transom and a smaller cutter stowed upon a cradle in the waist; the stern and quarter galleries with three rows of windows glazed with mica and two open, curved balustraded galleries; the stern and taffrail richly carved in detail with naval iconography and British Royal heraldry, the British Royal Arms 1714–1801 carved over the break of the poop deck, the bone figurehead depicting a Classical warrior, the white ensign flying from the peak of the gaff and the ship’s scarlet commissioning pennant flying from the main truck; the model on a later base supported by two cradles and a baluster post upon a marquetry dais and within a rail supported by turned bone balustrades. Overall length (tip of jib-boom to tip of spanker boom): 46 in Overall width (beam amidships): 7 in Overall height (from main-mast truck to keelson): 35 in Overall height including base: 37 in Overall width including base: 10 in Our splendid late eighteenth-century model warship is the largest it has ever been our privilege to offer for sale; it may be the largest known example of a ‘prisoner-of-war’ wooden ship model. We can be sure that it is from the hand of one or more prisoners of war captured during the French Revolutionary War of 1793–1801 because of a number of revealing factors common to the few such accurate models known to exist. The hulls of wooden ship models made by prisoners of war were often sheathed in either copper or, less often, in brass – the material used being presumably governed by its availability. The first ship of the Royal Navy to be sheathed in copper was HMS Alarm in 1761 and by 1784 nearly every ship of any size in the Royal Navy had been coppered, since the process not only protected the wooden hulls against the boring of marine worms but also strengthened the hulls. Our model is sheathed from its keel to its waterline with strips of brass to which age and polishing have given a copper sheen. It must be remembered that prisoners of war did not have ship plans and details available to them in the camps and so the ‘over-gunning’ of the models that they made was not unusual. Our model is over-gunned for any British ship of the line of the period, having more guns on the quarterdeck, forecastle and poop deck than would be usual, although it is of interest to note that the guns on the lower gun deck are represented as being of greater size than those


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ranged above: this reflects the practice at the time of placing the heaviest guns lowest down in the ship. This over-gunning of models is widely recognised as a reliable indication of their being made by a prisoner of war; it may also have helped sell the models to a buying public anxious to believe in the remarkable number of guns carried by their nation’s ships. The decorative carving of the stern and break of the poop deck is clearly, although by a skilled hand, probably drawn from printed depictions of the British Royal Arms of the style in use from 1714 to 1801: this is another factor that enables us to date our model so conclusively to the last decade of the eighteenth century. The windows in the stern and quarter galleries are glazed with tiny pieces of mica: this is another tell-tale piece of evidence that confirms that our model is from the hands of a French prisoner of war, since mica was widely used at the time in both bone and wooden models: it was also often used to glaze the less important windows in full-size ships. Our model ship is depicted as ready to sail, needing only her sails to be bent to her yards. All her masts, yards and spars are swayed up, fitted and crossed, her two main bower anchors have been catted, fished and stowed, her commissioning pennant is flying and she is identified, from the ensign at her stern, as belonging to the White Squadron of the Fleet. Her gun ports are open with her guns run out and although she is depicted with only two of her usual six ship’s boats aboard, it is easy to imagine that the remaining four are being towed astern in order to keep their seams watertight. It will be noticed that her hull is painted in alternating stripes of yellow ochre and black and that her gun ports are painted black on the outside and red on the inside: this means that, with her gun ports closed, she would exhibit the famous ‘Nelson chequer’ of yellow and black chequered sides, typical of ships of the line of the period and still visible today on the sides Nelson’s last flagship, HMS Victory in HM Dockyard, Portsmouth, England. The fact that she flies her ensign from the peak of the gaff, rather than from a flagstaff at the stern, is another indication of her period, since the spanker boom that was in use during the last quarter of the eighteenth


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century would have fouled an ensign flagstaff placed at the taffrail. Similarly, the fact that her bowsprit is fitted with a single dolphin striker helps date our model quite closely: dolphin strikers were not introduced until 1794 and became forked early in the first decade of the nineteenth century. Final conclusive points about the age of our model are made above in connection with the depiction of the Royal Arms, that the modelmaker has carved on the rail at the break of the poop deck, and substantiated by the fact that the white ensign has, in its canton, the Union Flag of the style flown prior to 1801. Thus, we can, with confidence, not only ascribe our model to the hand, or hands, of a French prisoner of war, perhaps together with those of several of his fellow prisoners, but also date its production to the first period of Britain’s wars with France 1793–1815 – that period between 1793 and 1801 known to historians as the French Revolutionary War. Although prisoners of many nationalities had been taken in some quantity by the British in wars prior to the French Revolutionary War, little survives now in the way of items made by them for sale during their captivity. It was the long period of war against, principally, France from 1793 to 1815 that resulted in so many ‘prisoner-of-war’ items finding their way onto the market in Britain during those two decades and in the centuries afterwards. The majority of French prisoners – some 200,000 in the two decades of war against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France – were taken during Britain’s victories at sea between 1794 and 1805 and most of those were seamen. However, the conscription system employed by France to man her ships meant that many of those taken aboard French ships had not been trained to the sea or even lived by the sea: many possessed other skills learned in other, land-based, employment prior to conscription to the French Navy. When those other skills were combined with the knowledge and the maritime skills of the large number of imprisoned seamen and kept in close confinement on a prison ‘hulk’ floating in an English harbour, in a prison camp or in a newly built prison in any one of several dozen locations in England or Scotland, there was a ready-made skill-base for the production of items for sale. The


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manufacture and sale of attractive, or useful, items was a very necessary part of the average prisoner’s life wherever he was confined since the proceeds from the sales allowed the prisoners’ meagre rations to be supplemented. This practice rapidly became established in the land-based prisoner-of-war camps in Britain, to the extent that, in many of them, weekly markets were held in which prisoners were allowed to sell or to barter what they had made in exchange for money or for food. British traders also attended these markets, frequently buying the prisoners’ goods for onward sale or exchanging food for the models and other trinkets made by the inmates. The ‘French Prisoner-of-War Ship Model’, often in bone but also in wood and frequently in a combination of materials, became the item most often associated with Britain’s French prisoners. Although the manufacture of models and other curiosities was not confined to French prisoners – especially since Britain was at war with most of Europe as well as with the United States of America at one time or another during the period 1793–1815, the French prisoners do seem to have been the most organised and the most entrepreneurial in the manufacture of goods while the American prisoners, taken during the War of 1812–14 seem to have been the most active in the provision of services and black market rations. Thus, while not all ‘prisoner-of-war’ models, whether of ships, or boxes, Crucifixion scenes, guillotines, spinning wheels or skeleton clocks, may necessarily be French, it is a fact that the French formed the majority among Britain’s prisoners of war 1793–1815 and so there will always be a significantly greater proportion of such items that were made by French inmates of the prison camps or hulks. Model ships attributed to French prisoners of war exist in most national maritime collections and many local museums in Britain and many have crossed the Atlantic to collections in North America. It is generally accepted that models in wood have a greater accuracy of detail and authenticity than those in bone, if only because wood was easier to work with and allowed a greater


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degree of precision aiding the sense of the proportion so important in making accurate models. Although, therefore, our model is over-gunned and has disproportionate brass sheathing to her hull, the overall impression given is one of great attention to detail by a skilled eye and hand and a great deal of care in its manufacture by a man, or men, who knew his, or their, business: the construction, fitting and fighting capability of a late eighteenth-century warship. Given her large size, it seems reasonable to assume that our model was almost certainly made on land rather than in the generally appalling conditions inflicted upon prisoners incarcerated in the ‘hulks’ moored in harbours. The manufacture of our model would not have been a quick or easy task since it would have been made entirely by hand and wholly from scraps of discarded material: we can only hope that the makers of our fine and remarkably detailed model were paid well for their pains and the original purchaser or recipient of the model was delighted by it for many years. Literature:

Freeston, E. C., Prisoner of War Ship Models 1775–1825, (Lymington, 1973), passim. Lavery, B., The Arming and Fitting of English Ships of War 1600–1815, (London, 1987), passim. Lloyd, C. L., The Arts and Crafts of Napoleonic and American Prisoners of War 1756–1816, (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2007), passim. Lloyd, C. L., A History of Napoleonic and American Prisoners of War 1756–1816: Hulk, Depot and Parole, (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2007), passim.


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30. A Fine and Important English Cased Flintlock Seven-Barrel Volley Rifle by Henry Nock, London 1796 Formed of seven browned barrels, each rifled with seven grooves, arranged in a six-roundone configuration with one of the lower barrels stamped underneath with the serial number 2575, fitted with a case-hardened patent breech, with engraved false-breech tang, with single gold line and gold touch hole, central sunken rib with lozenge shaped foresight, standing rearsight with two leaves, and signed h . nock – london – gun – maker – to his majesty; the flat lock with stepped tail and bevelled edges, sliding rear safety, swannecked cock, gold lined pan, the lock plate signed with a recessed oval gold stamp marked h nock, the inner face stamped with the initials ap; highly figured walnut half-stock with integral cheekpiece, fine diamond chequering at both the hand and fore-end, gold barrel-bolt escutcheons and oval gold escutcheon engraved with the crest used by Alexander Davison (a dove, with a wheat-ear in its beak, rising from an earl’s coronet), with engraved and blued mounts comprising scroll trigger guard and butt plate; in its original, green baize-lined mahogany case with accessories including fourteen-cavity gang mould, seven-nozzle powder charger, flint wallet with turnscrew and pricker, with Henry Nock’s trade label for Ludgate Street, LONDON applied inside the lid and fitted with a brass carrying handle engraved with the owner’s name – alex r. davison esq r. Overall length: 36 1⁄2 in

Barrel length: 20 1⁄2 in

Our superb cased seven-barrel volley rifle was purchased by Alexander Davison directly from Henry Nock in 1796. He was Admiral Horatio Nelson’s prize agent, his treasurer and closest advisor in civilian affairs and, above all, his intimate friend. In March 1795 Alexander Davison had purchased Swarland House and its surrounding estate near Morpeth in Northumberland. This was to be his country house and during the ensuing months many items purchased by Davison in London were sent by sea to the nearby port of Alnmouth. A surviving inventory for 1796 confirms the purchase of a ‘7 barrel gun’ from Henry Nock on 21 July for £40 16s. 0d. This is our cased seven-barrel volley rifle, serial number 2575. It is the only known example of such a gun by Henry Nock in its original case and must represent a unique survival of a weapon of this type in such wonderful and complete condition. Henry Nock was born in 1741 at Tipton in Staffordshire and baptised on 17 May. He was the first son of Thomas Nock, a victualler, and his wife Ann and was the eldest of eleven children, all but three of whom survived infancy. Richard, a younger brother born in 1754, was the only other member of the family to follow a career in gunmaking. Indeed, apart from his sister who married a victualler, and one brother who was a nailer, all Henry’s other brothers were involved in the construction and management of canals in central England. There is no known record of Henry Nock’s early years and it was not until 1768, when he was twenty-seven years old, that he was recorded in London renting a workshop in Elm Street in the parish of St. Andrew, Holborn. However, although no supporting evidence has been found, it has been suggested that he probably served his apprenticeship as a gunlock-maker in or around Tipton and then worked in Birmingham. The evidence for this suggestion is that in 1778 Henry


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Nock, in conjunction with the Birmingham gunmakers Thomas Blakemore, Samuel Galton, William Grice and Benjamin Willetts formed a company for the supply of gun locks to the Board of Ordnance. Although the venture was short-lived, the significant involvement of the Birmingham trade suggests a previous association. Although Henry Nock was to benefit from important contracts awarded by the Board of Ordnance, his first recorded encounter evidently did not meet with success. In November 1770 the Board minutes confirm that ‘Mr Henry Nock had delivered an improved Pattern Musquet Lock’. However its evaluation was not encouraging: ‘the Steel Sears and Tumblers are improper for Tower Musquets or other Military Locks, the Pan of the Lock is rather too short and bored too deep, the main Spring is pitched too forward and the nib too thin, but the Size and Weight of the Lock will do very well.’ The record is then silent until 1775 when a patent for a ‘concealed lock for fire-arms’ was granted on 8 April to Henry Nock, William Jover and John Green who are described respectively as a gunlock-smith, a gunmaker and a gentleman. Although the evidence is somewhat fragmentary, it would appear that a gunmaking business was established early in 1775 at 83 Long Acre with the title ‘Nock, Jover & Green’. The firm was evidently did not last long, because from Lady Day (25 March) 1777 William Jover established his own business at 337 Oxford Street (see item 27 in this catalogue). However, surviving examples of single sporting guns embodying the patented enclosed lock, as well as of conventional sporting guns, rifles and pistols confirm that such weapons were manufactured and sold during the firm’s short life. Their quality is equal to the best work produced by gunmakers working in London at that time.


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The failure, if that is what it was, of ‘Nock, Jover and Green’ may have brought to an end Henry Nock’s involvement with the civilian market, at least for a while. Indeed, even during the firm’s short life he had secured a contract with the East India Company in 1776 for sixty rifles incorporating the breechloading system patented by Isaac de la Chaumette and improved by Captain Patrick Ferguson. On the evidence of the only recorded surviving example of this contract, the particularly high quality of its lock confirms Henry Nock’s continuing, and indeed life-long, interest in gunlocks. At this time, Board of Ordnance contracts are also recorded for the supply of bayonets in 1777 and locks in 1778 – the latter in the partnership with four Birmingham manufacturers. In the following year, an entry in the Minute Book of the Board of Ordnance on 28 July 1779 states that, ‘a new Invented Gun with seven barrels to fire at one time’ had been submitted by Captain James Wilson of the Marines. The gun was tried at Woolwich on 29 July in the presence of the Board who concluded that, ‘It appeared to answer the purposes proposed as a rifle Gun’. However, they considered that although it would not be ‘applicable to the Land Service . . . it may be useful on board Ships to fire from the Round Tops, of which the lords of the Admiralty were the best Judges’. Captain Wilson was notified of the Board’s decision and Henry Nock was contracted ‘to provide two of these seven-barrell’d rifle guns such as may be fit for the common uses in service’. Although Henry Nock had only supplied the Board of Ordnance with bayonets and locks by that date it may be that he had made the initial prototype submitted by Captain Wilson. In any event, in due course Henry Nock was issued with a warrant to make twenty seven-barrel guns. These were not to be rifled, although the prototype and the initial two guns manufactured by Henry Nock were rifled. It would appear that the Ordnance officers had been conducting further trials and had concluded that the gun would function much better if it was not rifled, a view which was accepted by the Admiralty. It is not clear why this decision was made but at that time no rifled gun had been accepted into service by the Board. Although Captain Wilson tried very hard to become involved with the early trials of his gun on board ship he did not meet with any success and in the end he had to be content with £400 for inventing the seven-barrel gun: this was paid on 23 May 1780. In the meantime, Henry Nock continued to manufacture the


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gun and on 31 January 1781 he submitted his last invoice for the initial batch of five hundred and forty-seven guns. Thereafter, apart from an isolated payment for six guns in 1784, there was only one further order for the seven-barrel gun when, in October 1784, Henry Nock received a warrant to manufacture a further hundred guns: these were delivered by April 1788. It was probably evident by that time to Henry Nock that further orders from the Board would not be forthcoming. Indeed, he tried to solicit an order the following year but even this attempt, after some procrastination, met with no success. On the evidence of his screwless lock and French lock Henry Nock was fully aware of the potential opportunity to take ideas and developments from his Ordnance work and use them in guns manufactured for civilian and sporting customers. However, the development of the seven-barrel gun was prior to the opening of his shop at 10 Ludgate Street in June 1784 and, as far as it is possible to determine, it was only from this date onwards that civilian customers began to be important to his business. In 1795 the Parliamentary Commissioners appointed to settle the outstanding debts of the Prince of Wales had to deal with unpaid invoices from several London gunmakers, including Henry Nock. On 23 December 1789 the Prince of Wales had been invoiced for a seven-barrel gun with a spare set of barrels. He had previously purchased two ornate silver-mounted double guns, one of which was invoiced on 30 August 1788 and the other on 2 February 1789. It is therefore tempting to suggest that if a seven-barrel gun had been available earlier than 1789 then it would probably have been purchased by The Prince of Wales. On this basis, it can reasonably be proposed that Henry Nock introduced the civilian sporting seven-barrel gun in 1789 and that its production continued until the end of 1804 when the business ceased following his death. Perhaps not surprisingly, little has survived to provide an insight into the use of seven-barrel volley rifles. The late W. Keith Neal observed in his book Great British Gunmakers 1740–1790, written in conjunction with David H. L. Back, that ‘I have found, after using one of these rifles, that they shoot a somewhat irregular group at one hundred yards, and recoil severely. Nevertheless, one has seven potentially effective round lead bullets . . . and, with careful sighting, execution could well be done at geese flying overhead, or duck rising at this distance, as the penetration is considerable at this range.’


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Contemporary evidence is provided in a letter written some time between April 1800 and November 1804 by James Wilkinson, then ‘Clerk to Mr Knock’, to the purchaser of a seven-barrel volley rifle: Sir, agreeable to your request, I send you the particulars about the 7 barrel gun. The woods are to put on the muzzle of the barrels & the balls forced down with the leather about them, the punch is to cut the leather but should the leather cover the balls too much when you put them through the woods they should be cut off with a pair of scissors. The principal intent of these woods is to save the trouble of putting the balls in each barrel with your fingers in cold weather as you can have as many of the woods as you please & fill them before you go out. The lowest sight is for one hundred yards, the next for two hundred & the third for three hundred, but I think you had better try the gun at one hundred yards. The barrels are to be taken out of the stock & cleaned as any other. The gun will not recoil more than a full size single gun and is perfectly safe from bursting and I have little doubt but it will kill at three hundred yards should any one of the balls take place. The rest to shoot from we do not make but may be made by any carpenter. The gun should be well cleaned every time you use it as rifle barrels cannot be kept too clean. The letter was written to Sir Piers Mostyn, baronet, of Talacre near Holywell in Flintshire, Wales. The woods referred to in the letter were made from boxwood. They were circular, perhaps an inch thick, and drilled with seven holes in exactly the same configuration as the barrel and of a diameter to accept the lead balls and leather patch as described. The wood fitted over the muzzle of the rifle because on one side the profile of the barrel cluster was cut into the surface to a sufficient depth to ensure a tight fit against the outside of the barrels. Some time later Sir Piers Mostyn evidently lent the gun to a friend and the accompanying letter provides further contemporary insight into seven-barrel guns and their use: I think John you know sufficient of the gun to use it without accident. I beg you will lend it to no one else, I cannot buy another for any money. When you pass down the balls be sure they go home, it is a good plan to mark the ramrod on the ball, an oily rag is sufficient on the powder. You load them all with powder at the same time which you will soon find out. I had several of the balls covered with leather, but it is much trouble and not quite so good as the patch. Get some of the very best gunpowder. Take time, hold hard & straight & pick up the birds quick. Good luck.


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The observation by Sir Piers Mostyn that he could not buy another seven-barrel gun for any money is interesting. Although the letter is not dated it is nevertheless the case that a new one could not be purchased from Henry Nock after November 1804 when he died and the business closed down. However, examples of seven-barrel volley rifles have survived which were made by other London gunmakers after this date. Samuel Henry Staudenmayer is known to have made flintlock sevenbarrel volley rifles and Forsyth & Company made both roller primer and percussion seven-barrel volley rifles, although it is probable that the number was but a fraction of that manufactured by Henry Nock. Alexander Davison (1750–1829) was born at Lanton near Wooler, Northumberland, on 2 April 1750, the third son of Alexander Davison, a farmer of Lanton, and Dorothy Neal. He began work in the counting-house of Robert Hunter in London but was soon sent to Canada where, together with his younger brother, George, he developed a business as a merchant and shipowner during the American War for Independence. While in Canada, Alexander and George worked with and assisted the governor of Canada, who recommended Alexander Davison to Evan Nepean, an Under Secretary of State, as a man who could be useful to the British government as a contractor. After his return to Britain, Davison settled in London and for more than twenty years from 1784 worked for the government in providing army uniforms, weapons, transports and general supplies. He supplied the Earl of Moira’s expedition to western France in 1793 and the Duke of York’s army in Flanders in 1793–94, acted as commissary-general to the army at Southampton and the Isle of Wight for two years, supplied large orders for the government of Portugal and acted as supply agent for all the Marines in Britain. By the 1790s he had built up a very successful business in London as a merchant, banker, government contractor and prize agent. He was also very well connected with leading political figures and those contacts enabled him to build up a lucrative business. The profits from this helped him to buy a house in fashionable St James’s Square, London, where he regularly entertained Horatio Nelson and other notable figures of the day, including the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Clarence, William Pitt, and various cabinet ministers and admirals. By 1795, he was rich enough to purchase Swarland Hall and Park in Northumberland and over the next decade or so he spent a fortune in improving the house and grounds and


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buying adjacent land. He also built up a superb collection of paintings on English historical subjects by British artists, as well as fine collections of plate, porcelain, jewels, and books. He regularly lent money to his friends and numerous contacts, no doubt increasing thereby his influence in government and naval circles. On 18 February 1788 Davison married Harriett (1770–1826), daughter of John Gosling, a banker of Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London. They had six children, three sons and three daughters. Davison had first met Nelson at Quebec in 1782, when Nelson was captain of the frigate HMS Albemarle, and it is generally accepted that Davison was instrumental in saving Nelson from a rash marriage at that time to the sixteen-year-old daughter of the provost-marshal of the garrison. Nelson later established a close relationship with Davison, who acted as his financial adviser as well as confidant, and they corresponded regularly thereafter until very shortly before Nelson’s death. Davison became prize agent for Nelson and his whole fleet after the battle of the Nile in 1798, which he commemorated by spending about £2,000 on medals which he gave to all those who participated in that great naval victory. When Napoleon threatened to invade Britain in 1803–4 Davison raised a London-based regiment of Volunteer infantry, the Loyal Britons, at a cost of nearly £3,000 and served as its lieutenant-colonel. A correspondent of both Nelson’s wife and his mistress, Davison was a leading mourner at Nelson’s funeral and he repaid the admiral’s friendship by giving financial assistance to Emma Hamilton after Nelson’s death. To commemorate their friendship he erected an impressive obelisk on his estate at Swarland Park, beside the road from Morpeth to Alnwick. In December 1794, the Barrackmaster General had approached Davison to offer him a monopoly to supply all new barracks with a wide range of supplies as well as a separate contract to supply them with coal. In securing a commission of 21⁄2 % on the supply contract, Davison thus obtained what proved to be his most lucrative government contract and, as a result, had very large sums of public money in hand which he could use and invest to his own advantage.


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In 1802 Davison had been persuaded that he might be able purchase a parliamentary seat at Ilchester in Somerset. He was encouraged to build properties that would confer the vote on the householders put into them and to offer to pay £30 per vote to all those electors who would support his candidacy. Davison withdrew from the contest well before the poll but two other candidates (also rich London merchants) employed agents using similar practices in order to corrupt the voters. A parliamentary committee of inquiry eventually concluded, in March 1803, that Davison and the two parliamentary agents working for the successful candidates had been involved in corrupting the voters at Ilchester and ought to be prosecuted. Although some leading MPs tried to save Davison from prosecution, he was convicted at Taunton in April 1804 and imprisoned for a year in the Marshalsea prison: it was at this point that his connection with Nelson loosened and events early in 1805 did nothing to restore communications between the two men. When the Barrackmaster General retired in November 1804, it soon became obvious that the accounts of the Barrack Office were in a confused state and a commission of military inquiry was appointed by Act of Parliament in 1805. Davison was called upon to give evidence before it in 1805 and 1806 but the commissioners concluded quite early that ‘it was impossible for us to ascertain the loss to the public, or the gain to Mr Davison, through the improvidence of the late Barrackmaster General in the bargain made with him, and the inattention of the Barrack Office’. Nevertheless, on 19 May 1806 the attorney general agreed that Davison should be charged with fraud but no criminal proceedings were brought for many months. His career was not immediately ruined since the government appointed him to serve as Treasurer of the Ordnance in 1806–7 and he sought to defend himself by bringing out a pamphlet, A Reply to the Committee of Military Enquiry Respecting Barrack Supplies in 1807. Davison was finally brought to trial at the Court of King’s Bench on 7 December 1808. He was charged with falsifying vouchers and receipts between 1798 and 1802 and implying that two men working in his own warehouse were independent merchants: this allowed him to supply barracks from his army clothing warehouse in Bedford Street while still receiving his commission. Many very distinguished individuals testified to Davison’s probity and public spirit over many years but he was still found guilty on 6 February 1809. On 27 April he was


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ordered to pay £18,883 13s. 1d. commission back to the Exchequer and was sentenced to twentyone months’ imprisonment in Newgate. This conviction ruined Davison’s career as a government contractor and his finances were seriously embarrassed while he disputed with the government over his accounts. He claimed that the government owed him over £17,000, but the Treasury counter-claimed in February 1814 with a demand for two sums totalling just over £65,000. Not until 25 November 1826 was this amount finally reduced on appeal, whereupon Davison settled with the Treasury and was finally discharged from responsibility for any further payments. While in prison in November 1810, he mortgaged Swarland Hall to the Duke of Northumberland for £25,000 but was able to redeem it on 13 January 1811. He remained a wealthy man for some years, although to meet his debts to the Treasury he sold his house in St James’s Square and his plate, porcelain, gems, and books by auction in 1817 and his splendid collection of British paintings by auction in 1823. Professor H. T. Dickinson has written that, Davison was a man of great energy, efficiency and ambition. He clearly had a good head for business, a great capacity for making friends and for building up business and government contacts and a love for the good life that great wealth could buy. He was loyal to and financially supportive of his friends and allies, and they clearly regarded him as a man of probity but his business success undoubtedly alienated rival merchants and aroused the hostility of the press. He was probably fraudulent in his dealings with the barrack office, though he made very little money from the particular offences for which he was convicted in 1809 and undoubtedly profited much more from other aspects of his decade-long and loosely drawn contract to supply the army’s barracks with coal and a wide range of other goods. He may not have been any more guilty of robbing the public purse than many other government contractors of the day, but at a time when the public was alarmed by military setbacks and shocked by the revelations of corruption in high places he suffered the penalty when his actions came to the attention of a rattled government and parliament, and an aroused press.


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When Davison died in Regency Square, Brighton, on 10 December 1829 he still owned his Northumberland estate. He was buried in the same massive vault as his wife in St Gregory’s churchyard at Kirknewton, Northumberland, within a mile or so of where he had been born. His son William later raised an obelisk to his memory on a hill overlooking the church. Provenance:

By descent in the family of Alexander Davison.

Literature:

Blackmore, H. L., ‘The Seven-Barrel Guns’, Journal of the Arms and Armour Society, vol. I, no. 10 (June 1955), pp. 165–82. Dickinson, H. T., ‘Alexander Davison’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford, 2004). Downer, M., Nelson’s Purse, (London, 2004), passim. Neal, W. K. and Back, D. H. L., Great British Gunmakers 1740–1790, (London, 1975), passim.


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31. A Fine and Exceptionally Rare Presentation French Blunderbuss by Nicholas-Noël Boutet, Versailles, presented to Général-de-Division Jean Étienne Joseph Alexandre MacDonald, later Maréchal MacDonald, Duc de Tarente, by the Executive Directory of the French Republic, 1798 Flat lock of bright steel with swan-neck cock, pan with rear fence and bridle to frizzen; forward of the cock the plate engraved manufac aversailles ; behind the cock, a small pivoting safety catch that engages at half cock and which is formed as a foliate scroll; behind this, the plate engraved with a slightly curved vertical band of repeated leaf motifs and the teat finial of the lock plate embellished with foliate engraving. Figured walnut halfstock with chequered small and raised cheekpiece with a central rondel carved with a symmetrical floral and foliate pattern; gilt-brass mounts, the major plates having matte surfaces. Straight-backed trigger guard with large raised diaper patterning on the bow and a large flush-set, symmetrical forward finial with side arms thrust forward either side of a ‘kettle hat’ finial. Chequered butt plate attached by two screws with engraved heads. Large symmetrical foliate washers set flush around the two side nails. Moulded rammer pipe and en suite tail pipe with large flush finial having a foliate outline, the rammer tipped with a trumpet-shaped brass head. To the rear of the trigger guard the underside of the stock extended as a finger rest in the form of pierced scrolls either side of a capital, the forward scroll filled with an oval rosette and all decorated on the underside with carved symmetrical foliate scrollwork. Blued and gilt two-stage barrel with a gold-lined touch hole, octagonal at the breech and round at the belled muzzle, the change highlighted by a band of gilding and attached to the stock by two pins. At the muzzle, a thin gilt border from which depend gilt and engraved swags. At the breech, a gilt panel, the front edge rising on the diagonal on the visible side flats to a semicircle on the top flat, with engraved foliate scrolls springing forward on the side flats, the panel having plain borders and a matte ground inhabited by small rondels and engraved with floral garlands, triangles with dotted line borders and a diamond with a roundel at each point; at its midpoint is a plain transverse band stamped with three marks bearing script initial – on the left flat bc , on the centre flat nb and on the right flat lg. Ahead of this gilt panel, the visible side flats engraved, one boutet directeur artiste and the other manufacture a versailles. On the top flat is the later etched inscription:

arme d’honneur donneé en 1798 par la république française au genéral macdonald et apartenant a son petit-fils le commandant de massa. Weapon of Honour given in 1798 by the French Republic to General Macdonald and belonging to his grandson Major de Massa Overall length: 29 3⁄4 in

Barrel length: 12 3⁄4 in


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Nicholas-Noël Boutet (1761–1833) worked as a gunmaker in Paris for over a quarter of a century during the greatest social and political upheavals ever known in France. He plied his trade under a monarchy, then a republic, then an empire and finally a monarchy again. He inherited the title of arquebusier du roi from his father-in-law Desainte. The Versailles factory, where our blunderbuss was made, was set up in 1792 at a moment of military crisis for the young French Republic. Nicholas-Noël Boutet was appointed its first artistic director, a position he retained until the factory closed in 1818. To begin with, the factory amounted to little more than an attempt to amalgamate the gunmaking workshops in the area but in 1793 Boutet was authorised to recruit Liège gunmakers, to acquire gunmaking equipment and to establish a special shop for the manufacture of luxury arms. From that moment on the Versailles factory performed the dual role of manufacturing large quantities of regulation military firearms and much smaller quantities of decorated weapons, mostly for presentation. In its working life, the factory produced nearly 150,000 guns in all. Boutet was not a great technical innovator but he developed a very distinctive style. He re-introduced polygroove rifling for many of his luxury arms and he completely remodelled the form of the pistol stock, giving it a right-angled turn which is found on all Versailles-made pistols. This style may have derived from England where more steeply down-curved butts had been developed, principally for duelling pistols, as may various of his other improvements, such as the use of a false breech fixed to the stock into which the barrels hooked, the anti-friction roller between the frizzen and its spring, and the hinged link between the tumbler and mainspring. Although the two countries were at war for most of Boutet’s career at Versailles, good ideas knew no boundaries and he was quick to seize on them. The presentation weapons produced at Versailles ranged from standard issue weapons presented to deserving soldiers and sailors to magnificent and lavishly decorated weapons for presentation to senior officers and to heads of state. Napoleon’s respect for Boutet was sealed by his very sculptural work on the new Imperial sword of state made for Napoleon’s coronation in 1803, which contained stones from the old crown jewels, and on the lavish gold swords made for the new Emperor and the princes of the blood. Both before and after the advent of the Empire the status and prosperity of the Boutet workshop exactly paralleled the rise of its principal patron, Napoleon Bonaparte. As his power grew, the output of the Versailles workshop grew in magnificence and in its influence over its competitors in the field of presentation-quality arms, such as our blunderbuss.


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The story of the use of luxury arms as rewards for service in Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary France is an interesting and instructive one. The first instinct of the Revolutionaries was towards equality. As part of this, a decree of 30 July 1791 forbade all outward signs or symbols implying any distinction caused by birth. This had the effect, whether fully intended or not, of abolishing most decorations and insignia. Once Revolutionary France found itself at war with its neighbours this soon proved to be untenable: there had to be some way to reward heroism in battle on behalf of the Revolution and thus to encourage others. The first ‘crack in the dam’ came on 5 March 1793 when the Convention awarded a ‘national’ sword to one of its soldiers as an expression of public gratitude for bravery at the battle of Jemappes. This idea was taken to heart by Napoleon Bonaparte during his Italian campaigns of 1796–7. General Bonaparte was already very conscious of the power and importance of propaganda in his drive to consolidate his personal power. He needed to reward service very liberally and very publicly in order to foster the development of an army that was principally loyal and grateful to him. So, during the Italian campaigns he introduced frequent awards for meritorious conduct, actions that were systematised and formally approved under the Consulate by a decree of 4 Nivôse Year VIII (Christmas Day 1799). These highly decorated and personalised presentation pieces can be seen as the ancestors of the Légion d’Honneur that Napoleon established in 1802 as an award for gallantry in military action or for long and distinguished service to the state: it was first bestowed some two years later, on 15 July 1804. But this establishment of a new chivalric order with medals and insignia did not in any way stem the production of luxury presentation pieces as awards for service. Most of these were weapons – swords, muskets, rifles, carbines, pistols or boarding axes – but trumpets and drumsticks were among other items of equipment that were beautified for presentation. All these special weapons and presentation pieces were made in the national arms factory at Versailles under the direction of Nicholas-Noël Boutet. Our blunderbuss is one of very few such weapons known to have been made by Boutet as a presentation piece. Indeed, the production of blunderbusses of any sort was something of a rarity in the Versailles factory. Only one military model was produced – the tromblon de mamelouk of which some seventy-three are recorded as being made between 1806 and 1809 for the squadron of Mameluke cavalry formed in Vendémiaire Year X (September 1802). The squadron was intended to be two


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hundred and fifty strong but initially only a hundred and fifty could be recruited, and it did not reach full strength until 1813. The tromblon de mamelouk was developed from the Model 1793 Cavalry Carbine. It was brass-mounted and had a barrel of 15 1⁄2 inches long mounted in a halfstock. The Mamelukes loaded their blunderbusses with a number of balls. They did not use a cartridge but relied upon the last ball inserted, which was larger than the rest and wrapped in a patch, to hold the charge in place. In addition to these service blunderbusses, a number of blunderbuss-barrelled pistols (pistolets-espingoles) are known: a fully stocked pair in the Musée de l’Armée Paris (no. M.1730) is fitted with barrels similar to the barrel of our blunderbuss. Comparable blunderbusses to ours can be found in the collections of the Musée Carnavalet, Paris (exhibited Musée Lambinet, Versailles 1993, catalogue no. 178) and the Musée de la Chasse et la Nature, Hôtel de Guénégaud, Paris (exhibited Musée Lambinet, Versailles 1993, catalogue no. 176). The latter, complete with case and accessories, is the most highly decorated blunderbuss known to have been produced at Versailles. It was made for Prince Eugène de Beauharnais (1781–1824), Viceroy of Italy, adopted son of Emperor Napoleon I and son of Empress Josephine de Beauharnais. Eugène followed a military career. He first saw action in the Revolt in the Vendée (1793–6), later serving as an aide-de-camp to his step-father in the Italian Campaigns of 1796–7 and also accompanying Napoleon to Egypt in 1799. As a captain in the Chasseurs à Cheval of the Consular Guard he fought at the battle of Marengo (14 June 1800). Then, during the War of the Fifth Coalition(1809), Napoleon gave Eugène command of the Army of Italy. Alongside him, as his military advisor, was appointed the recipient and owner of our fine blunderbuss, Jacques Étienne Joseph Alexandre MacDonald.


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Macdonald was born in Sedan, in the Ardennes region of eastern France, on 17 November 1765. He was the son of a Highlander from the Western Isles of Scotland who had fled Scotland following the collapse of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745–6. MacDonald’s father, Neil MacEachen, pronounced ‘Makeken’, had studied at the Catholic seminary at Douai in northern France and been instrumental in securing the escape of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’, from Scotland in 1746. Once back in France, MacEachen changed his name to MacDonald and was granted a commission in le régiment d’Albanie in 1747. His son, Jacques MacDonald, began his military career in the French army of King Louis XVI, being commissioned as a subaltern officer in the Légion Irlandais in 1784; he then transferred in the following year to the Légion de Maillebois, a French regiment serving in the civil wars in the Low Countries. Following the disbandment of his regiment in 1786, MacDonald entered the régiment de Dillon as a volunteer – the standard practice for a young gentleman seeking a permanent commission and content to await a vacancy – and was commissioned sous-lieutenant in Dillon’s regiment when a vacancy occurred in 1787. He remained in the army during the Revolution in 1789 and was promoted lieutenant in 1791, his regiment being renamed the 87ième régiment de ligne in that year. Following the outbreak of war between France and most of her neighbours in 1792, MacDonald’s career became meteoric: in June 1792 he was promoted captain, in November 1792 lieutenantcolonel, in August 1793 brigadier-general and in November 1793, at the age of twenty-eight, major general, général-de-division. He served throughout the campaigns in the Low Countries and Flanders of 1792–8. In 1798 he became governor of Rome and throughout 1799 was engaged upon campaigning in Italy. After supporting Napoleon Bonaparte in his coup of 18 Brumaire, Year VIII (10 November 1799), MacDonald was given command of the Army of Grisons, which he commanded in Switzerland and Italy until 1801, when he became ambassador to Denmark for one year. Returning to France in 1802, he became implicated in a plot against Napoleon and was exiled to his home at Courcelles-le-Roi until being recalled to serve, first, in the Neapolitan army in 1807 and then in the French Army of Italy in 1809. Serving alongside Prince Eugène Beauharnais in


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1809, his soldiers fought and route-marched their way northward through Italy to the battlefield of Wagram where, on 6 July 1809, they contributed significantly to Napoleon’s victory over the Austrians. MacDonald became a Marshal of France on 12 July 1809, received the Grand Eagle of the Légion d’Honneur a month later and was created Duke of Taranto in December 1809: his star was, once again, in the ascendant. MacDonald served in eastern Spain in 1810 and 1811 and was given command of the 10th Corps of the Grande Armée in the invasion of Russia in 1812; his corps was stationed on the French left and took charge of securing the Baltic provinces, being thus spared the rigours of the Russian winter. In 1813, as Russia and Prussia combined gradually to force the exposed and weakened French armies westward, MacDonald commanded significant forces at the battles of Lützen, Bautzen, Leipzig and Hanau. As the defeat of France became inevitable, MacDonald was among the group of French marshals that persuaded Napoleon to abdicate in 1814: he then switched his loyalty to the restored Bourbon monarchy, which created him a peer of France in June 1814. MacDonald took no part in Napoleon’s ‘100 Days’ campaign in 1815 and remained loyal to Louis XVIII and his successors, whom he served in a variety of senior military roles from 1815 until the mid-1820s. He was confirmed in his rank as a Marshal of France, created a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Louis and a Knight Companion of the Order of the Holy Ghost and held the post of Great Chancellor of the Légion d’Honneur from 1815 until 1831. He died at Courcelles-le-Roi on 25 September 1840 and is buried in the family vault in the cemetery of Père-Lachaise in Paris. In December 1810, MacDonald’s eldest daughter, Anne-Charlotte, married Sylvestre-Nicolas, Count of Gronau, the son and heir of Claude-Ambrose Regnier, 1st Duke of Massa (1746–1814). MacDonald’s daughter thus became the 2nd Duchess of Massa on the death of her father-in-law in 1814, by which time she and her husband had a son, Alfred, Marquis of Massa. This son, who predeceased his father in 1846, was an officer in the French army. It is his name, as grandson of Marshal MacDonald, that is part of the inscription on the barrel of our blunderbuss: he must have owned it between the death of his grandfather in 1840 and his own death in 1846, the inscription presumably dating from that period.

This inscription suggests that the blunderbuss was presented to MacDonald in 1798, presumably to reward his lengthy and distinguished service in contributing to the protection of the new French Republic from foreign invaders bent upon its overthrow. On 12 Ventôse of Year VI of the Revolutionary Calendar (28th February 1798), MacDonald and his fellow major general, Duhesme, were introduced to the Executive Council of the Directory by the Minister of War. They brought with them, for presentation to the Directory, the numerous enemy flags that had been captured by their armies, those of the North and of Rhine-and-Moselle. The Minister, both


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generals and the President of the Directory each gave extensive speeches celebrating the victories on the eastern and north-eastern frontiers of France, swearing vengeance against Britain and promising the extension of Revolutionary Liberty through force of French arms to all those who were still oppressed by tyrannical monarchical or imperial governments. It was on this occasion that MacDonald almost certainly received the magnificent epée-glaive offered in our 2005 catalogue (item 39) which bears the same, later, inscription detailing its presentation as does this blunderbuss. However, there may be reason to believe that, as far as the blunderbuss is concerned, oral history within the family may have mistaken the date of its presentation, perhaps confusing it with that of the sword when, in fact, they may have been presented to him on different occasions. The fact that a similar but more elaborate blunderbuss was given to Prince Eugène de Beauharnais with whom Macdonald served in Italy in 1809 as military advisor, may suggest that it was more likely that Macdonald received his similar blunderbuss after this campaign in 1809 or 1810. Certainly this later date for the manufacture and presentation of our fine blunderbuss accords better with the known production of military pattern blunderbusses at Versailles, which lasted from 1806 to 1809. This later date also seems more in accord with the evidence of the marks found on the blunderbuss. While the form and style of the address on the lock could date from as early as 1795–6, the bc mark stamped on the barrel has so far only been identified on service weapons dating from Year X (1802–3) and also appears on a number of luxury weapons, including a double-barrelled rifle in the Wallace Collection (no. 1126) that dates from after Napoleon’s elevation to Emperor (18 May 1804) and on elements of the magnificent set of gold-mounted guns, carbines and pistols made in 1802–3 for presentation to King Charles IV of Spain (now divided between three collections: the Wallace Collection A.1128-9; the Royal Armouries XII.1278, the Royal Collection of HM The Queen, etc.). Provenance:

By direct descent within the family of the Dukes of Massa.

Literature:

Bottet, Captain M., Nicholas Boutet et la Manufacture de Versailles, (Paris, 1903), p. 59. Boudriot, J., Armes à Feu Modèles Réglementaires 1717–1836, (Chenevières sur Marne, 1997), vol. II, pp. 127, 138–9, 156–7, 161. Grancsay S. V., ‘A Versailles Gun by Boutet, Directeur-Artiste’, Arms & Armor: Essays by Stephen Grancsay from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1920–1964, (New York, 1986), pp 155–9. Le Diberder, G. (ed.), Les armées françaises a l’époque révolutionnaire 1789–1804, (Paris, 1989), pp. 43 and 56. Norman, A. V. B. and Wilson, G. M., Treasures from the Tower of London, (London, 1982), pp. 92–3. Various contributors, La Manufacture d’armes de Versailles et Nicholas-Noël Boutet, Exhibition Catalogue, Musée Lambinet, Versailles (Paris 1993), pp. 75, 76, 90, 175, 179; pls. 92–3.


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32. An Exceptional Cased Pair of English Flintlock Target Pistols by H. W. Mortimer, London, No. 1423, 1813 With sighted, octagonal, browned rifled barrels, fitted with internal patent breeches, each with a platinum lined touch hole and single platinum line at the breech, the top flat signed h. w. mortimer london gun-maker to his majesty , with barrel tang incorporating a standing rear sight. The case-hardened, flat detented locks fitted with French cocks engraved with a floral scroll and sliding rear safeties, engraved with foliage, sunbursts, trophies of arms and feather lined borders and signed h. w. mortimer ; the pans fenced at the rear and the frizzen springs equipped with roller bearings. Adjustable set triggers. Sawhandled, figured walnut full-stocks with raised small-diamond chequering, the butts capped with a flat, oval, steel disc engraved with a roped border; engraved, blued steel mounts comprising spurred trigger guards engraved 89 fleet s t.. on the bow and ramrod pipes retaining their original horn-tipped wooden rods, one with capped ‘pigtail’ worm, the other with threaded brass rod to take separate powder measure; the butt plates of bright steel, the border and central screwhead engraved with feathering. In their original, green baize-lined mahogany case with H. W. Mortimer Junior’s trade label for 89 Fleet Street in the lid, a brass disc let into the top of the case lid and engraved m r. oswald shieldhall ; the case complete with three-way, red leather-covered powder flask/ball dispenser/patch box, loading rod, bullet mould, double-bladed turnscrew with brass pricker and powder measure. Overall length: 15 1⁄2 in

Barrel length: 10 in

The printed paper trade label in the lid of our superb cased pair of target pistols states that they were made by H. W. Mortimer, ‘late Partner and Successor to his Father’. Both father and son had the same Christian names, Harvey Walklate, in honour and memory of the elder H. W. Mortimer’s mother’s uncle. The elder H. W. Mortimer was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme on 13 April 1753 and seems to have been apprenticed as a gunmaker to his uncle, William Perry, in Birmingham in about 1766. He had established himself as a gunmaker in London by 1775, at no. 6, King Street, off Drury Lane. In the following year he moved to Great Queen Street in Lincoln’s Inn Fields and then finally, in 1782, to 89 Fleet Street where he remained until his retirement through ill health in 1811. His son – H. W. Mortimer Junior – was born in 1776, was apprenticed to his father in 1791 and served in the Inns of Court Regiment of Volunteers from 1803. The son continued in business on his own after his father’s retirement until 1816, when he too retired – preferring the rural delights of Norfolk, his mother’s home county, to his father’s choice of Islington. The reference on our guns’ case’s trade label to ‘GunMaker His Majesty’ applied to both father and son: the father was probably thus appointed in 1783 while his son was appointed in 1805. The formal transfer of the business to H. W. Mortimer Junior did not actually occur until the beginning of 1813, presumably when a reluctant father gave up any hope of returning to work. During the interim period of 1811 and 1812 the trade labels and signatures on the firm’s guns referred to ‘H.W. Mortimer & Son’. In addition, the serial number sequence established in 1806, starting at 1,000, continued to be used. Only from 1813 did H. W. Mortimer Junior start a new sequence, probably from number 5,000, although he did allocate the number 4,000 to a pair of travelling pistols.


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Our fine pair of target pistols is signed ‘H.W. MORTIMER’ on both the barrels and the lock plates. The serial number on the locks and barrels is 1,423 and the barrels are stamped with the London Proof House ‘View’ and ‘General Proof’ marks in sunken ovals. In addition they are stamped with the ‘crown over H.M.’ maker’s mark of H. W. Mortimer and not the plain ‘H.M.’ mark of his son. These pistols are therefore probably unique in that they have a serial number allocated in 1812, when they were ordered by their purchaser, Mr Oswald, but were not completed until early in 1813.

The Royal Arms on the label in the lid of the case of our pistols were those used by the British Royal family from 1714 until 1801 and so it is curious that, in all the updating of the firm’s marketing literature at this time, the old Royal Arms, which by then were some thirteen years outof-date, should continue to have been used on the trade label found in the case of our pistols: although curious, this is not unusual in trade labels of the period. There is a further interesting historical reference to the Mortimer family gunmaking business at the bottom of the trade label, where it is emphasised that this firm has no connection to any other. This must be an attempt to distance H. W. Mortimer from Thomas Mortimer, who was H.W. Senior’s younger brother. He had been foreman with H. W. Mortimer at 89 Fleet Street between 1785 and 1799 and was a partner in the firm from 1799 to 1806. However, Thomas Mortimer set up business on his own in 1806, at 44 Ludgate Hill, London, and so H. W. Mortimer was thereafter understandably anxious to make it clear to potential customers that there was no link between the two businesses: they were, in fact, in competition. It is the rifling in the barrels of our pistols that confirms the purpose for which they were made: rifling was forbidden under the laws of duelling and so there can be no doubt that our pistols were made as target pistols and not for duelling. The stocks of saw-handled pistols were frequently made to the specific requirements of their owner in order to ensure the greatest potential accuracy: indeed, many expert target shooters would accept no other configuration. The two paper targets found in the case of our exceptional pair of pistols, and identified with the pistols’ serial number, seem to be a unique survival. There is no evidence of the circumstances under which the shots were fired, although, no doubt, this was known to both the client, Mr Oswald, and the gunmaker, H. W. Mortimer, and was probably associated with some form of trial of the pistols’ accuracy carried out after they were finished. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, gunmakers had started to make provision for themselves and their customers to test the suitability or accuracy of guns and pistols: this was carried out on premises close to their shops rather than on shooting


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grounds out in the countryside. Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Thornton (1757–1823), writing to the 3rd Earl of Darlington, subsequently 1st Duke of Cleveland, (1766–1842) in June 1802, recounted his experience in the testing of a rifle by Joseph Manton (1766–1835) ‘in a narrow passage adjoining his shop’. In the early years of the nineteenth century, such passages, or covered alleys, were probably also used by customers for competitive pistol shooting. However, it was not long before proper shooting galleries were created by gunmakers for the use of their customers. Although is not known when Joseph Manton opened his shooting gallery in Davies Street, Captain R. H. Gronow (1794–1865) recalled in his Reminiscences and Recollections that from 1814, and for several years afterwards, he regularly attended there in the company of the Marquess of Blandford, the Earl of Yarmouth, Viscount Pollington, Viscount Mountjoy, Lord Wallscourt, Lord Byron, Captain Burgess and Jack Bouverie. They frequently shot at wafers while betting against each other for considerable sums of money and even Joseph Manton was ‘allowed’ to enter the betting. Of course, at other times and in different galleries it would have been possible and enjoyable for a few friends to gather and test their skill with target pistols without threatening their future solvency.

Set into the top of the case lid of our fine pair of pistols is a brass escutcheon on which the name and address of the original owner are engraved: m r. oswald shieldhall . Shield Hall was an estate on the south side of Glasgow, about four miles from the centre of the city, in the parish of Govan in Lanarkshire. It was originally created around 1720 when Thomas Hamilton, a Glasgow maltster, formed an estate of some 300 acres through the purchase of several separate properties. He built the original mansion house, although it was enlarged by later owners. Subsequently, because of increasing financial difficulties, the Shield Hall estate was sold and it passed through several other owners’ hands before being purchased by Alexander Oswald, a Glasgow merchant, in 1781. Oswald was a successful businessman whose principal interest was in the cotton industry; he was also involved with sugar trading, rope manufacture and property development but took no part in slave trading, which he apparently abhorred. Outside his business interests, he was keenly interested in education and the dissemination of knowledge throughout society: he was also one of the original founders of the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow. Shortly after Alexander Oswald bought the Shield Hall estate, his uncle, Richard Oswald (1705–84), was deeply engaged in negotiations aimed at bringing to an end the American War for Independence – a war that had changed from being a colonial rebellion to becoming a world war and which Britain was beginning to realise was not winnable. Richard Oswald was closely involved in the peace negotiations that took place in Paris between March 1782 and March 1783, having been appointed to be his personal emissary by the Prime Minister, the Marquess of Rockingham,


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on the advice of the Earl of Shelburne, the responsible Secretary of State and a personal friend of Oswald. When Rockingham died in July 1782 and Shelburne became Prime Minister, he formally gave Oswald a commission to be the British government’s sole negotiator with the Americans in Paris and Oswald drafted the British preliminary articles of peace, articles that were presented to both British Houses of Parliament in November 1782. These articles were initially rejected as being far too concessionary, a rejection that led to the fall of Shelburne’s administration and to Oswald’s recall but the subsequent administration, that of Lord North, adopted all of Oswald’s proposals and incorporated them unchanged into the peace treaty with the United States of America that was signed in Paris in September 1783. Richard Oswald was ideally placed to represent his country’s government in negotiations with the embryonic United States of America since he, his family and his business partners had traded from Glasgow across the Atlantic since the early 18th century, owning land in Virginia and Florida and plantations in the Caribbean and trading in those staples of trans-Atlantic commerce: sugar, tobacco and slaves. Government contracts during the Seven Years War (or French and Indian War) of 1756–63 made the family rich and enabled them individually to set themselves up in country estates in Lanarkshire and Ayrshire, south of Glasgow. Whereas his nephew, Alexander, bought the relatively small estate of Shield Hall in Lanarkshire, Richard Alexander bought and developed about 14,000 acres in Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire between 1764 and 1784. In January 1774, Alexander Oswald had married Margaret Dundas, the daughter of John Dundas of Monaur in Perthshire. Initially, the family lived in Clyde Street, Glasgow, where the first four children were born but, following the purchase of Shield Hall in 1781, they moved there, their


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three younger children being born at Shield Hall and baptised in Govan. Their eldest son was James Oswald, born on 2 May 1779: it was he who was eventually the owner of our superb pair of target pistols made by H. W. Mortimer Junior. Little is known about the early life of James Oswald. He would no doubt have attended a form of local primary school and then a grammar school but there is no record of him going on to a university. In all probability, he joined his father’s business after he left school. The very fact that he ordered his pistols from a leading London gunmaker, rather than from one in Glasgow or Edinburgh, strongly suggests that he visited London from time to time in the furtherance of the Oswald family business. It must have been for just such a pastime as target shooting that James Oswald bought our superlative pistols from Mortimer in 1813; it may be, though, that his business activities allowed him little leisure time, since the exceptionally fine condition of these pistols indicates that they have been very little used. Alexander Oswald died on 8 June 1813, aged seventyfive, and in the same year James Oswald and his younger brother Richard Alexander Oswald, together with Nathaniel and James Stevenson, joined in partnership as Oswald, Stevenson & Company, a firm that traded in cotton and yarn. This firm was still in business when James Oswald died forty years later. He never married, although he had an ‘accepted relationship’ with a Mrs Mary McLean Williamson of Edinburgh. They had two children: James Williamson, born in 1827, who later joined the 49th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry in the service of the East India Company and who had risen to the rank of colonel by 1873, and Mary Williamson, born in 1828, who later emigrated to France and married Honoré Roux in 1847. Mrs Williamson died in 1833. Apart from his business interests, James Oswald was also very active politically. He was a leading Liberal in Glasgow and, following the passing of the Reform Act of 1832, was one of the first two Members of Parliament for the City elected under the post-Reform enlargement of the franchise. He represented Glasgow between 1832 and 1837 and again between 1839 and 1847. The gap between 1837 and 1839 is of interest: he resigned as a Member of Parliament for ‘family reasons’ in May 1837 and, before he was re-elected in 1839, Shield Hall was sold for £33,000 in 1838 to another Glasgow merchant, Alexander Johnston: the reason for the sale is not known. In addition to his business and political interests, James Oswald was a Deputy Lieutenant for both Ayrshire and Lanarkshire. He retired in 1847 and died on 3 June 1853 in his seventy-fifth year: he was the same age as his father and died almost forty years later, to the day, after him. Literature:

Blackmore, H. L., A Dictionary of London Gunmakers 1350–1850, (Oxford,1986), p. 146. Gronow, R. H., The Reminiscences and Recollections of Captain Gronow, being anecdotes of Camp, Court, Clubs and Society 1810–60, (London, 1900), 2 vols, vol. I, p. 152. Hancock, D., Citizens of the World: London merchants and the integration of the British Atlantic community 1735–1785, (Cambridge, 1995), mentions the Oswald family. Lee Munson, H., The Mortimer Gunmakers, 1753–1923, (Lincoln, Rhode Island, 1992), pp. 11, 17, 23, 54, 83. Thornton, Lt-Col. T., A Sporting Tour through various parts of France, as published in the year 1802 . . . , (London, 1806), p. 9.


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33. A Magnificent Cased Silver-Mounted Double-Barrelled Percussion Pocket Pistol by W. F. Mills, London, made for one of the children of H.R.H. The Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, 1837–43 Of very small size, richly inlaid in silver and contained in its brass-inlaid wooden box with a full and complete range of accessories, in pristine condition and not appearing to have been fired. Locks set either side of the stock with flat case-hardened lock plates and cocks engraved with running leaf scrolls within a roundel border; behind the cocks, the scrolls involve two daisy-like flowers; ahead of the cocks, the decoration enhanced by a scrolling panel of gold inlay engraved with the maker’s name; the necks of the cocks engraved to match and the hammer heads and thumb spurs chiselled and engraved in the form of a fish: with single trigger mechanism. Walnut full-stock lavishly decorated with running floral scrolls inlaid in engraved silver wire and sheet, some of the scrolls terminating in large and distinctive round flowers and some with spiralling petals; on the underside the decoration symmetrically addorsed. Silver mounts consisting of bow trigger guard, fore-end cap and pommel cap, all engraved en suite with floral and foliate scrolls. In the centre of the pommel cap, a flat round steel finial with knurled sides which can be unscrewed to form a ramrod with attached worm. The inside of the bow of the trigger guard struck with the duty mark, the sterling standard mark and the initials id in a rectangle. Round, blued side-by-side barrels with an engraved and silvered border at the muzzle, the rib enriched by a gold panel engraved with scrollwork and the maker’s name and address: w mills 120 holborn london ; a gold bead foresight to the rear of the muzzle border; the barrels retained by a single slide set in oval plates of engraved and case-hardened steel and bearing no proof marks. Figured rosewood case, embellished on top and sides with flush inlays of brass in the form of symmetrical floral scrolls. In the centre of the top, the brass is engraved with the crest of the son of a British Royal duke. The box lined with crimson velvet, padded in the lid which bears the printed paper trade label of W. F. Mills, 120 High Holborn, London. Fitted into compartments in the lining of the box, a blued steel bullet mould, a brass threepiece cleaning rod, a nipple key and a screwdriver, both with ivory handles, a cylindrical ivory box, a silver ball dispenser, an oval silver patch box and two cylindrical silver boxes, the smaller containing ball, the larger containing percussion caps. The silver boxes engraved with coronets on their lids and, on the inside of its lid, the patch box struck with the duty mark, the sterling standard mark and the initials sp in an oval. The ivory boxes and tool handles all decorated with the national flowers of the United Kingdom: shamrocks, thistles, leeks and roses, the technique simulating ivory inlay in wood by using a brown pigment for the ground. Overall length: 5 1⁄4 in Barrel length: 2 in Illustrated opposite actual size


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The maker of our magnificent little pistol was William Frederick Mills. Son of William Mills and born in either 1807 or 1808, he continued his father’s gunmaking business at 120 High Holborn after his father died in 1837 and had probably worked for his father for some time previously. He continued the business until he went bankrupt in 1843. William’s skill and reputation was such that he was appointed gunmaker to King George IV in 1830. The Royal connection was continued by his son, William Frederick, who advertised his appointment as gunmaker to Queen Victoria on his trade labels. As well as continuing to work, as had his father, for the Royal family, William Frederick also took on Ezekiel Baker’s contract to supply the Board of Ordnance with weapons and also worked as gunmaker to the East India Company after Baker’s death in 1836. It seems that the firm was equally adept at the manufacture of luxury and service weapons. Whereas his father seems to have been contented with city life, living at 2 Chapel Street, off Bow Street, it appears that William Frederick preferred the peace of the countryside as the English Census of 1841 gives his address as Colney Hatch Lane in Hornsey. By 1851, Hornsey only had a population of 3,925 living in 661 houses and when William Frederick lived there it must have seemed secluded and quiet compared to the bustle and noise of High Holborn. The evidence of the silver hallmarks on our magnificent pistol suggests that, as seems to have been quite normal in the London gun trade, some of the parts were of some age when the pistol and its accessories were assembled. The lid of the patch box is struck with the standard mark and pre-1821 duty mark and the maker’s mark sp . The marks on the trigger guard are later and include the post-1821 duty mark and the maker’s mark id . Neither of the makers’ marks can be definitely identified. That on the trigger guard may be one of the seven known marks of John Douglas (entered at the Goldsmith’s Company in 1804) while that on the lid of the patchbox may be that of Sarah Purver (entered at the Goldsmith’s Company in 1817). Douglas is recorded from 1788 to 1823, mostly as a smallworker and sometimes in partnership with others. He worked at various addresses in Clerkenwell including, in 1804 when the mark like that on our pistol was registered, 4 Clerkenwell Close. Sarah Purver seems to have taken over the spoonmaking business of her husband Thomas Purver on his death in 1817. Superficially, both makers appear to be too early in date to have been involved in the manufacture of our pistols, though there are no known end-dates to their careers: Purver’s speciality also suggests that it was unlikely that she would have made little boxes. However, there is one strange coincidence that seems to link these two makers. Both Sarah Purver and her husband are recorded working at 2 Clerkenwell Close, next door to where Archibald Douglas was working, from around 1804 perhaps until as late as 1812. They would certainly have known him well and may have collaborated with him on occasions. There is every reason to believe that Douglas and Purver may have made the silver mounts and accoutrements of this delightful Royal pistol. If the mounts were made by collaborating workers the duty marks suggest that they were produced around the period 1820–2. It seems, therefore, that, in order to


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meet a Royal order, William Frederick Mills may have associated a newly made pistol with some best quality accessories that had been in his father’s stock for a good many years. That there was continuity between the products of father and son is proved by the similarity of the decoration this pistol to that on a cased pair of percussion pocket pistols by William Mills offered by us in our 1995 catalogue (item 133). The similarity of the form and treatment of the segmented leaves on both suggests that they are both by the same hand. The case of that pair has exactly the same pattern on it as adorns that of this single pistol, except that it is reversed: what is in wood on the case of this pistol is in brass on the 1995 pair. In 1995 we drew attention to the similarity between this decorative scheme and the earlier work of King Louis XIV’s furniture maker, Charles Boulle (1642–1732). Another similar case protects a magnificent and highly elaborate silver-mounted percussion sporting gun by William Mills, with mounts hallmarked for London 1828–29, that was in the collection of Clay Bedford and was exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1971. The decoration of the stock of that gun, one of the most elaborately decorated firearms ever made in England, includes the same distinctive round flowers with spiralling petals that are found on our little Royal pistol and which must have been a speciality of the Mills’s workshop. There is no doubt that our wonderful little double-barrelled pistol was made for a member of the British Royal family. The presence of the emblematic flowers of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland and the principality of Wales strongly suggests it and the heraldry proves it. The coronets that adorn various elements of the cased set have engraved on their bands alternate crosses pattée and strawberry leaves. Such coronets relate to a sovereign’s grandchild who is the issue of a younger son, or the nephew of a sovereign who is the son of a sovereign’s brother. The earliest possible date for our pistol is the summer of 1837, given what is known about its maker and the reference to ‘Her Majesty’ on the trade label, Queen Victoria having succeeded King William IV to the throne on 20 June 1837. By this date, the members of the British Royal family who were, or had been, entitled to use such coronets were Princess Victoria, the daughter of HRH The Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, Prince George, the son of the HRH The Prince Ernest, Duke of Cumberland and Prince George, Princess Augusta Caroline and Princess Mary Adelaide, the children of HRH The Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge. It seems unlikely that a gun would have been made for the new queen without using the Monarch’s full achievement of Arms and so it seems unlikely that our pistol was intended for HM Queen Victoria. As soon as Victoria became queen, the link between the kingdoms of Great Britain and Hanover was broken and the Duke of Cumberland ascended to the Hanoverian throne as King Ernst August I: under German Salic law, Queen Victoria, as a woman, could not inherit the throne of Hanover. The King of Hanover’s son


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became Crown Prince George of Hanover in 1837 and it seems likely that items made for him from that date would have carried his Hanoverian Arms. Thus, it appears that the most likely recipient of our pistol was one of the children of the Duke of Cambridge. HRH The Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge (1774–1850) was that rare thing: a virtuous son of King George III who became his favourite son. Unlike his brothers, he lived modestly within his means and did not father illegitimate children. He was born in 1774 and in his teens, educated at Göttingen University. He played a spirited part in the French wars, seeing action in the Netherlands and in Germany, particularly in Hanover. Towards the end of the Napoleonic wars, in 1813, he returned to Hanover to act as its governor. Following the death in childbirth in 1817 of Princess Charlotte, heir apparent to the British throne through her father, HRH The Prince George, Prince Regent, Adolphus and his brothers, who by that time were middle-aged bachelors, were obliged to marry in order to ensure the continuance of the dynasty. While inspecting a bride for one of his brothers, Adolphus met and fell in love with Princess Augusta, daughter of Frederick, Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, and they married in 1818. He spent the next years in Hanover, ruling it on behalf of his father and elder brothers. While in Hanover, he and his wife had three children, Prince George and Princesses Augusta and Mary. The death of King William IV in 1837 had a profound effect on the family fortunes: the kingdom of Hanover was inherited by Adolphus’s elder brother, HRH The Prince Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, while the throne of Britain was inherited by his niece, Princess Victoria. Prince Adolphus and his family were obliged to pack up and leave Hanover, where the prince had lived and worked for over thirty years, to return to a Britain where he was out of favour with the monarchy and too old to begin a new career. It is one of the ironies of history that Adolphus, in many ways a Victorian before his time – with his family values, career as a hardworking bureaucrat and modest cultured family life – should have been out of sympathy with the new monarchy in Britain. The early death of Princess Victoria’s father, The Duke of Kent, had meant she was brought up by her German mother who had quickly fallen out with her late husband’s brothers and the feud continued after King William’s death. Victoria and her mother had felt they had been snubbed by the Royal Princes and now they were able to return this behaviour. These family rifts continued down the generations, often making relations difficult between the Cambridges and the growing family of Queen Victoria. Prince George of Cambridge, Adolphus’s son, had left Hanover as a young boy to live in Britain with his childless uncle and aunt, King William and Queen Adelaide. It was King William’s wish that his nephew, Prince George of Cambridge, the eldest surviving grandchild of George III, should marry his niece, Princess Victoria, and unite the two branches of the family. However, neither Prince George nor the Queen seemed to have any attraction for each other and she clearly bore a grudge against what she considered the presumptions of the Cambridge family. This rumbled down the years with disputes over inheritance, allowances, precedence and titles, with the Cambridges feeling they were ill treated by their relations. Instead of marrying his cousin, Prince George inherited the taste of the Hanoverian princes for actresses, forming a long-term liaison with Louisa Fairbrother (1816–90) whom he married in 1847. Rumours that he had seduced the daughter of the Duke of Beaufort lead to another spat between the Cambridges and Queen Victoria. After spending a short time in the Hanoverian army, Prince George returned with the rest of family to Britain in 1837. He then joined the British army and was soon promoted. In 1842 he helped suppress local riots in Leeds and 1843 he was posted to the Ionian Islands. Further postings included Ireland and Gibraltar during a difficult period in Ireland in the late 1840s. In 1854, he


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was the youngest divisional commander sent out to the Crimea, during Britain’s war with Russia of 1854–56 but here his lack of field experience told against him, although his personal bravery was never in doubt. He became ill following the battle of Inkerman, late in 1854, and was invalided home. In 1856 he became commander-in-chief of the army, a post that he retained until 1895. Unlike his father George was a keen sportsman and interested in shooting, becoming president of the National Rifle Association. He was also appointed as ranger of Hyde Park and St James’s Park in 1852, and of Richmond Park in 1857. He survived his royal cousin, dying in 1904. Of the three Cambridge children, Princess Augusta (1822–1916) spent the least time in Britain, being born and raised in Hanover, returning in 1837 and leaving for Germany when she married the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in 1843. In her new life she formed part of the extended British Royal house that was distributed around the courts of Germany and northern Europe. In particular, she formed a strong bond with her niece Princess May of Teck, the future Queen Mary (1867–1953), continuing to write to her in the early years of the First World War, by which time she had outlived most of her contemporaries. The youngest Cambridge princess was Princess Mary (1833–97) who was so fat that no one thought she would ever marry but eventually, in 1866, she married a young Austrian nobleman and for most of their married life they lived in Britain. However, Princess Mary inherited the Hanoverian taste for living beyond her means, so that she and her husband were forced to spend some years travelling on the continent to escape their debtors. Her daughter, Princess May of Teck, was selected by Queen Victoria as a good match for her grandsons and became engaged to two of them, eventually marrying HM King George V and becoming Queen Mary in 1910. Given the date of our pistol, the two people most likely to have owned it are either Prince George or Princess Augusta of Cambridge. The early 1840s were a difficult time for army officers, with unrest both in Britain and on the Continent and Prince George, as part of his army career, was posted to some dangerous places during this period – such as riotous Leeds, troubled Ireland and the fractious Ionian Islands – and it is possible that an easily concealed pistol might have seemed to be a useful weapon in times of such unrest. In June 1843, Princess Augusta married the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and left for Germany shortly afterwards. Such a pistol as ours might have been useful while travelling. The princess was a frequent traveller, usually visiting Britain once a year to see her parents and family, as well as making visits on the continent and around Germany. On 19 July 1843 she celebrated her twenty-first birthday and our pistol might have made a suitable present on that occasion. Literature:

Bedford, C. and Grancsay, S., Early Firearms of Great Britain and Ireland from the Collection of Clay P Bedford, (New York, 1971), cat. no. 93. Blackmore, H. L., A Dictionary of London Gunmakers 1350–1850, (Oxford, 1986), pp. 45, 73, 142. Blackmore, H. L., Gunmakers of London Supplement 1350–1850, (Bloomfield, Ontario, 1999), p. 87. Grimwade A. G., London Goldsmiths 1697–1837: Their Marks and Lives, (London, 1976), pp. 96–7, 188, 493, 634.


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34. An Exceptional and Rare Model Armour for Man and Horse in Sixteenth-century Style by E. Granger, Paris, circa 1850 The man’s armour comprising a close helmet with a bellows visor attached to a single-lamed gorget with raised collar; the cuirass comprising a breast and back plate, the breast plate of peascod form with a fauld plate to which are attached tassets of seven simulated lames; the rump protected by a mail skirt; the seven-lamed pauldrons large and symmetrical, attached by turners to articulated vambraces complete with winged couters; the gauntlets with large, tapering cuffs, five metacarpal plates and a knuckle plate; the legs formed of cuisses integral with five-lamed, winged poleyns, greaves and broad-toed, ten-lamed sabatons; the main plates with roped edges and the whole armour decorated with etched bands of foliate scrollwork. The armour dressed on an articulated figure clothed in buff leather, with a gilded face visible through the visor. The horse armour comprising a shaffron with a main plate fluted with feathers to which are attached cupped brow and gutter-shaped ear defences, from which articulate side plates decorated with radiating gadrooning; the neck protected by a ten-lamed crinet, the chest by a peytral made of three plates, the sides by one-plate flanchards and the rump by a crupper consisting of nine plates and an additional tail-piece; the peytral, flanchards and crupper all having separate roped lower borders joined by rivets to the main plate at a cusped border. The wooden saddle covered with crimson velvet edged with gold brocade and protected by bow and cantle plates; from it are suspended stirrup leathers to which are attached wide, arched stirrups. The horse armour is decorated en suite with that of the man, with roped edges and panels of foliate scrollwork which, on the main vertical panels of the crupper, consist not only of running scrolls but also of formal symmetrical anthemion scrolls; the lower borders of the peytral, flanchards and crupper with bands of etched roping and beadwork above the separate roped edge; the main plates with decorative five-petalled floral washers to many of the major rivets; attached to the front plate of the peytral are three shields charged with heraldic devices. Mounted on a bronze horse with a natural horsehair tail, the whole further mounted upon a rectangular, ebony-veneered wooden base.

1

Height of base: 5 ⁄2 in

Overall height: 21 in Length of base: 16 in

Width of base: 7 1⁄4 in

Our model armour for man and horse is of exceptional quality. It is one of a small group made by the nineteenth-century Parisian artist-craftsman E. Granger, who is recorded in the mid 1840s as working at 70, Rue de Bondy (now Rue René Boulanger, a road running west from the north-east corner of the Place de la République). All Granger’s model armours thus far identified were based on the same armour for man and horse, one inspired by elements of mid-sixteenth-century armours, but mostly left undecorated; some of these, however, were individually decorated with slight variations in their embellishment. Where one armour was etched, another was etched and gilded; the positioning of the panels of etching were altered in places; the exact form of the foliate scrollwork in the panels was varied; some peytrals had applied shields, some did not; a lance rest could be added; the saddle coverings were altered and the weapons of the man were varied. In addition, there were a number of horse postures and base forms that could be used further to vary each model and give a prospective purchaser just what he wanted. Granger exhibited an example


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of this group of models at the Exposition des Produits de l’ Industrie Française that was held in Paris in 1844 and later showed his work as part of the firm of Granger-Leblanc at the London International Exhibition on Industry and Art held in the gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society, South Kensington, in 1862. Granger did not only make model armours. In about 1843, he was commissioned by Hélène, Duchesse d’Orléans, wife of HRH Prince Ferdinand-Philippe d’Orléans, to make a three-quarter armour for her eldest son Louis Philippe-Albert, Comte de Paris (then about five years old), who was later the pretender King Philippe VIII. This boy’s armour later formed part of the Sulm family armoury at Schloss Sulm, near Heidelberg, Germany and was offered for sale by us in our 1999 Catalogue (item 41). Granger also made full-size armours for some of Madame Tussaud’s waxwork figures and for stage use at the Paris Opéra. Granger, however, was far more than a maker of armours. In the report on the Paris exhibition of 1844, he was listed as a maker of gilt jewellery, bronzes, costumes, and occult objects as well as of armour. At that exhibition he was awarded a silver medal for his almost single-handed creation of a type of craft industry. From the jury’s report it seems that he was educated at the École Royale des Arts de Châlons and that he had begun his career in Paris in the mid 1820s. He had exhibited previously at the 1839 Exposition Nationale des Produits de l’Industrie Agricole et Manufacturière in Paris but had been too busy developing his export business to exhibit enough to make his mark. His specialities were the manufacture of jewellery and other fancy goods for export in local styles, theatrical jewellery, costume and armour, statues and models of armours and other chivalric subjects and copies of masterpieces of the armourer’s art, both those that survive and those that were lost. He worked for many of the great theatres and opera houses of Europe and through his efforts the largely cardboard theatrical armours of the past were replaced by those made of ferrous metals. From the many types of product he exhibited at the 1844 exhibition the jury picked out for special mention bulletproof waistcoat cuirasses for wear beneath clothing and made for the South American market, his magnificent embossed trophies of old armours and his metal flowers and other ornaments; they were particularly struck by his use of modern, labour-saving and massproduction techniques such as electro-chemical gilding, die-stamping and the use of precision tooling that allowed him to produce some of his art objects in large quantities and develop a very profitable export business that in 1843 saw him earn 50,000 francs from a single foreign client. However, it is for the models that he made to decorate the tables and desks of his clients that he is most widely revered today. These models have lost none of their charm and are still highly sought-after. There is one example, etched overall, in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York (no. 16.29.1-2) and another, without etching, owned by the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, that is currently on exhibition in the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds (no. AL 97). A further example, etched and gilt, of this now small and rare group was sold by Sotheby’s, Summers Place, Sussex, on 8 December 1997, lot 59 and a further, though undecorated, example, by us in our 1997 Catalogue (item 61). Literature:

Exposition des Produits de l’Industrie Française, (Paris, 1844), vol. 3, pp. 184–8. Nickel, H., ‘The Little Knights of the Living-Room Table’, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. XXV, no. 4, December 1966, p. 182, pl. 27.


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35. A Finely Carved Austrian-Bohemian Hunting Horn, circa 1850 Deeply and richly carved from a single piece of fruit wood and mounted in German silver at both ends, the end for the mouth fitted with an ivory-mounted reed and the collar engraved Sculptor Atelier des A.V. Lebeda Sohn in Prag. The carving depicting a scene from the edition of Goethe’s Reineke Fuchs published in 1846 and the body of the horn fitted with two loose rings through which passes a narrow corded silk carrying strap with tasselled ends. Overall length: 8 3⁄4 in

Diameter of bell: 3 13⁄16 in

Our beautifully carved hunting horn would once have formed part of the ceremonial hunting dress of a wealthy continental European sportsman and it may have been carved, or decorated, en suite with other items that he would have worn, and perhaps also purchased, at the same time. As the retailer’s name on our horn’s collar indicates, it was made in the Prague studio of the famous Bohemian gunmaker Anton Vinzent Lebeda (1797–1857). Lebeda was apprenticed in Prague, completing his apprenticeship in 1813 and becoming a master gunsmith in 1822. In due course, his two sons, Anton (1823–60) and Ferdinand (1824–89) joined him in the business, from which he retired in 1854, the business continuing in Ferdinand’s hands until 1889. In 1852, in reflection of his standing as a gunmaker of the highest quality in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Lebeda was appointed gunmaker to the Imperial Court of the Emperor Franz-Joseph – himself an active and avid sportsman. Lebeda made guns and sporting equipment for British and European royalty and aristocracy and examples of his work are in many public collections worldwide; we have been privileged occasionally to offer items from this famous Bohemian gunmaker. The scene that so finely decorates the wooden body of our horn is taken from the folk tale Reineke Fuchs (Reynard the Fox), a tale current throughout northern Europe from the twelfth century and thought, perhaps, to originate in Flanders. It first appeared in print, in verse, in a Dutch edition, printed in Gouda in 1479. Caxton’s English translation, published in 1481, was one of the first printed books produced in England, the first German edition being printed in Lübeck in 1498. The tale is one in which animals are given human characteristics and in which human foibles are transferred to the ‘animal kingdom’. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) published his verse adaptation of Reineke Fuchs in 1793, at a time when human frailties were widely exposed in the aftermath of the French Revolution and the beginning of what was to be two decades of war, and it was widely hailed as a triumph. In 1846, it was republished in quarto format by Cotta of Stuttgart and illustrated with engravings by the Munich engraver Adrien Schleich (1812–94) that were drawn from specially commissioned artwork by the artist Wilhelm von Kaulbach (1804–74); this edition was so successful that it was republished by Cotta in 1857 in octavo and translated into English by Thomas James Arnold (1803–77) in an edition published in London in 1860. Our horn’s carving is based upon the Schleich engraving after von Kaulbach that appeared in the 1846 edition and it is this that enables us confidently to date our horn to approximately 1850. In the scene depicted on our horn, Reynard the Fox is about to be hanged for his numerous crimes against most of the rest of the animal kingdom, he having been sentenced to death by the Lion, who – although king of the beasts – is not that intelligent. Reynard’s particular foes are Isegrim, the wolf, who can be seen at the foot of the ladder ready to kick it away and launch


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Reynard into eternity, Bruin the bear, equipped with a halberd and holding the ropes tying Reynard’s hands, and Tybault the cat (from whose name is drawn the popular pet cat’s name ‘Tibby’), who is securing Reynard’s noose to the branch of the tree. All three of Reynard’s particular enemies are anxious to see him ‘turned off’ but, in the scene depicted, Reynard is astonishing the Lion by telling him of a plot against his life that he, Reynard, recently thwarted and which involved a quantity of buried treasure – the location of which Reynard can, of course, reveal if spared. Predictably, the Lion is convinced of Reynard’s worth and so spares his life, an action that appals most of the rest of the animals. Ultimately, Reynard sees the error of his ways but remains, characteristically, duplicitous and clever – thus fulfilling the traditional character ascribed by humans to foxes. In the absence of other examples of gunmaker’s work reflective of the tale of Reinecke Fuchs, we cannot be sure of the extent to which von Kaulbach’s engravings were used in the decoration of sporting guns and their accessories. However, there is a long tradition in continental Europe of the accessories for sporting guns, particularly powder flasks, being decorated with scenes reflective of tales, myths and legends and so our horn, made at a time when powder flasks were decreasing in use in the sporting field through the increased use of cartridges, may be seen as a continuation of that tradition for a sporting society in which personal appearance was every bit as important as sporting skill. Literature:

Goethe, J. W. von, Reineke Fuchs (Stuttgart, 1846). Heer, E., Der Neue Støckel, (Schwäbisch Hall, 1978) vol. I, p. 690.


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36. A Magnificent Exhibition or Presentation Russian Kastane, by I. P. Sazikov, St Petersburg, 1850 Mounted in heavily cast and chased silver-gilt, the hilt in traditional Sinhalese style elaborately decorated with guilloche, fluting and panels of engraved foliage and florets, with the pommel and quillon formed as the stylised heads of lions and the ogee-shaped knucklebow emerging at the quillon from the mouth of a beast and terminating at the pommel in the stylised head of a dragon, the eyes of all the beasts on the hilt formed of cabochon-cut garnets or rubies – that on the nearside of the pommel replaced; below the quillon block the hilt widens to form a stepped collar into which are struck the maker’s mark of the St Petersburg court goldsmith Ignatii Pavlovitch Sazikov, the standard mark for 84 zolotniki and the assay master’s mark for Dmitri Tverskoy with the date 1850. The wide blade of reduced Ottoman kılıç form in Damascus steel of Kirk Narduban pattern, with residual openwork panels of gilding either side of its back edge and a raised forte terminating in chiselled mihrab-style points. The scabbard of heavily cast and chased silver-gilt, decorated overall with foliage and guilloche, the near- and off-sides set with blue and green cabochon-cut turquoises, the chape formed as a stylised dragon’s head, the back edge decorated with a pattern of overlapping scales and fitted with two loose rings in multifaceted mounts and the upper part formed of two bands of elongated hexagons. Overall length: 28 1⁄2 in

Blade length: 19 in

Our remarkable and fascinating kastane, made in 1850 by one of the few goldsmiths to have been appointed goldsmith to the Imperial Court in St Petersburg, presents a combination of styles, quality and materials that undoubtedly make it not only unique but also very probably created either as an item for presentation or for exhibition. Although with a hilt of traditional Sinhalese kastane form, our sword is a very fine example of Russian decorative art of the very highest quality from the mid-nineteenth century. The kastane is the national sword of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. As we have seen with the ivory-hilted smallsword forming item 23 in this catalogue, Ceylon was subject to a variety of outside influences from the sixteenth century onwards: first Portuguese, then Dutch and finally British. Although each trader or occupier left their mark on the island, many foreigners also took away with them evidence of their time there and the presence of Sri Lankan weapons in public collections throughout the world is evidence of this. Because Sri Lanka had little in the way of a blademaking industry, a great many kastanes were fitted with Western blades. Kastanes made in Sri Lanka generally seem to have had four quillons, a pair nearest the hilt, of which the forward one extended to form the knucklebow, and another smaller pair which curved towards the blade, often flanking the forte of the blade and combining with a langet to strengthen it at that point. Our kastane’s similarity to the traditional Sri Lankan form represents an interpretation of the form rather than a copy of it but among the many interesting facets of our kastane is the fact that, like native Sri Lankan ones, its hilt is mounted upon a blade that has no cultural connections either with Sri Lanka or, indeed, with the country where our kastane was made, Russia. The Russian craftsman who made our kastane has taken a seventeenth-century Ottoman blade, from the curved sword with a wide flat-backed blade called a kılıç, reduced it in size, fitted his interpretation of a traditional kastane hilt to it and made a suitably magnificent scabbard to fit the blade and


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accompany the hilt. The result is entirely in keeping with traditional Sri Lankan practices in the making of kastanes as well as an artistic tour de force typical of the fine quality manufacture in precious metal for which its maker was, by 1850, famous in Russia. The firm of Sazikov was founded in Moscow in 1793 by Pavel Fedorovitch Sazikov (d. 1830), the owner of a silver workshop and famous as a skilled engraver. By 1812 the workshop had developed into a factory manufacturing silver wares of many kinds and an adjacent shop was opened to sell its goods. On the death of Pavel Fedorovitch in 1830 his son, Ignatii Pavelovitch Sazikov (1793–1868), inherited the business. Ignatii Pavelovitch was appointed Manufacturer of Gold and Silver Goods to the Imperial Court of Tsar Nikolai I in 1837 and opened a branch in St Petersburg in 1842; a year later, Sazikov became the first silver-making firm in Russia to have a guillocheing machine – which was imported from France. Sazikov became so prosperous a firm that it was able to establish an apprenticeship department, training up to eighty apprentices at a time in goldsmithing and silversmithing. The firm actively participated in International Exhibitions from 1851 onwards, receiving the highest award in the Moscow Exhibition of 1882 and frequently receiving commissions from non-Russian clients. On the death of Ignatii Pavelovitch Sazikov in 1868, the business was inherited by his three sons. Of these, Pavel Pavelovitch and Sergei Pavelovitch were responsible for the Moscow branch and Valentin Ignatevich for that based near the Court in St Petersburg. Sazikov survived, as one of Russia’s most famous firms of quality goldand silversmiths, until 1917 when, as with so much else, the Russian Revolution swept it away. The defeat of Napoleon brought peace to Europe in 1815, leaving Russia as one of the victorious nations. Russians began actively to explore their cultural heritage as part of the growth of nationalism that was sweeping


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Europe. Following his accession to the Imperial Throne in 1825, the new Tsar, Nikolai I, actively encouraged this nationalism since it paralleled his territorial ambitions for the Russian empire and, gradually, Russia began to turn towards the West while, at the same time, rediscovering her cultural past and extending her territories southward towards the Islamic lands bordering Turkey, Persia and Afghanistan. As part of this cultural movement, Alexei Nikolaevitch Olenin (1763–1843), Director of the Imperial Academy of Arts in St Petersburg after 1817, commissioned his protégé, Fedor Grigorievitch Solntsev (1801–92) in 1830 to spend time in Moscow drawing items in the Treasury and Arsenal Museum of the Moscow Kremlin. Solntsev’s drawings were published by the Archaeological Commission in Moscow in six volumes, entitled Antiquities of the Russian State, between 1849 and 1853. Sazikov is known to have used Solntsev’s drawings as the basis for the design of many of the objects that he made especially for exhibition in London at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Although the items exhibited in London by Sazikov in 1851 did not include any weapons – being largely items of table silver such as cups, vases, table centrepieces, candelabra and goblets – one of the items exhibited, a covered drinking cup, incorporated decorative vertical bands on its semi-spherical belly that are identical to the pattern of overlapping-scale design on the rear edge of the scabbard of our kastane. Given that the Arsenal Museum of the Moscow Kremlin contains several kastanes – at least one of which (no. OP-367) has a cut-down and much earlier Western blade – it may well be that the hilt of our kastane was copied by Sazikov from a drawing made of one of them by Solntsev and that its magnificent scabbard was directly inspired by a combination of decorative influences, both Russian and more Western in origin. However, it is recorded that the Moscow kastane OP-367 was transferred from St Petersburg to Moscow in 1843 after some


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debate between the Imperial Court and the Director of the Moscow Kremlin Armoury, the latter claiming that it was reliably believed to have belonged originally to Tsar Peter the Great and Tsar Nikolai upholding this claim. Although all this took place seven years before Sazikov made the mounts for our fine kastane, it is an indication of the interest in Imperial circles at the time in the exotic weaponry held in the Moscow Kremlin and, ultimately, this interest may have inspired the creation of our kastane. The setting of the scabbard of our kastane with large and irregular turquoises may also have been inspired by Solntsev’s visits to the Armoury Museum of the Moscow Kremlin since that collection contains a magnificent seventeenth-century Turkish sword of the type known as a konchar: this weapon has a silver-gilt hilt and scabbard thickly studded with clusters of turquoises (no. OR-4550) and, of course, turquoises appear – although not to quite the same extent – on numerous other Turkish weapons in that collection. The scabbard of our kastane has not the remotest cultural or stylistic connection with Sri Lanka, being entirely mid-nineteenthcentury European in its style and Russo-Turkish in its decoration, and so must simply have been designed to complement the kastane’s richly cast and chased hilt and accommodate its robust Ottoman blade. Our fine kastane may have been either made for exhibition, or as a commission for one of the many noble Russian travellers who was either intending to visit Ceylon or who had done so, such as Prince Alexei Soltykov (1806–59), who visited the island in 1841 and 1845. It may, equally, have been an Imperial commission by the Tsar. Ceylon was significant to Russia throughout the nineteenth and into the twentieth century because of its production of tea, although tea was not commercially planted there until 1867, so our kastane may have some connection with the tea trade. An interest in overseas lands was also part of the expansionist foreign policy of Tsar Nikolai I, whose attempted encroachments beyond the Black Sea threatened Turkey and led to the war between Russia and the allied nations of Britain, France and Sardinia between 1854 and 1856. Throughout the reign of Nikolai I (1825–55), Russia was also perceived in both London and Calcutta as a threat to British dominion in India and influence in Afghanistan. In view of this expansionist policy of the Russian empire, it may not be too far-fetched to suggest that, perhaps, our kastane was intended as a diplomatic gift aimed at weaning an influential member of Ceylonese society away from allegiance to Britain. Whatever the reason for its production, there is no doubt that it is a fine and remarkable item of superlative quality that exhibits the finest of Russian manufacture in precious metal and stones of the mid-nineteenth century. Few examples seem to exist of weapons made in Russia that consciously imitate the cultural arms of other societies and we are fortunate in being able to offer one that does and one that is of the most remarkably high quality. Literature:

Ivanov, A. N., Gold and Silversmiths in Russia 1600–1926, (St Petersburg, 2002), vol. II, pp. 96–7. Levykin, A., The Moscow Kremlin : the Imperial Rust-kamera : one hundred items from the collection of the Russian emperors, (Moscow, 2004), pp. 218–20, no. 92. Treasures of the Moscow Kremlin: Arsenal of the Russian Tsars, Exhibition Catalogue, Royal Armouries, Tower of London, (Leeds, 1998), pp. 56–7. Von Solodkoff, Alexander, Russian Gold and Silver (London, 1981), p. 205.


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37. A Fine Cuchillo de Monte in the manner of Eusebio Zuloaga, circa 1850 Of traditional form, with an iron hilt and steel scabbard decorated with chiselling and piercing and an etched steel blade. The grip tapering from a collar in the form of a stylised Corinthian columnar capital of classical acanthus, pierced with Baroque vegetal arabesques ascending to a pinnacle of stylised acanthus beneath the pommel, terminating in a collar of Greek key motifs beneath a pommel cap formed of stylised and addorsed acanthus; the quillon block decorated on both sides with martial trophies upon a gilded ground, the bulbous quillons pierced with Baroque vegetal arabesques and terminating in collars of stylised acanthus beneath tips formed of multipetalled florets; the double-edged blade with a short ricasso and wide, narrow central fuller etched on both sides with differing panels of decoration depicting a boar hunt amid classical swirling foliage. The scabbard inlaid in silver overall on both sides with vegetal arabesques and pierced with three panels of decoration involving vegetal arabesques on either side, the individual panels further embellished as follows: on the offside, top, a moustachioed ferocious human mask above a small trophy of arms, the frog stud formed of a Rococo scroll beneath a scallop shell; on the nearside, top, a bearded grotesque human mask above a small trophy of arms; on the offside, middle, an armed, armoured and helmeted warrior reclining upon his shield; on the nearside, middle, a naked and capped warrior seated upon his armour; on the offside and nearside, bottom, a small trophy of arms, the scabbard tip formed on both sides of seated winged figures. Overall length: 16 1⁄4 in

Blade length: 10 1⁄8 in

Our superb cuchillo de monte (lit. mountain knife) is typical of the high-quality arms designed and manufactured by Eusebio Zuloaga and representative of the Spanish school of hunting arms that is unique to the Iberian peninsula. Although not signed by Zuloaga, elements of our knife’s design are so similar to known cuchillos that are signed by him that we can be sure that it is from his workshop. The plug bayonet, which the Spanish cuchillo de monte resembles in outline, is thought to have been first developed in the Franco-Spanish border area at the northern end of the Pyrenees in the midsixteenth century. Initially, it was developed for hunting purposes, to provide the hunter armed with a single-shot matchlock musket with a means of rapidly converting that musket into a boar spear, should his prey turn upon him when his musket was not ready to fire. While the socket bayonet had a military use in most European nations from the late seventeenth century until being generally replaced by the socket bayonet around 1700, it was retained in Spain as part of a sportsman’s garniture of arms until the twentieth century, although latterly worn mainly by hunt servants as part of their formal dress. The retention of the plug bayonet in Spain for hunting purposes led to its being regarded there as more of a knife than a bayonet and thus developing a role as the ‘traditional’ Spanish hunting knife – a knife that had a variety of blades but always a hilt that was essentially that of a sixteenth-century plug bayonet.


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As the traditional hunting knife, in a culture in which field sports were a principal activity for everyone who could afford to indulge in them, the cuchillo de monte naturally provided a canvas for the expression of the artistry of Spain’s different regions and as a means whereby Spanish artists in metal could advertise their skills to an appreciative audience. The science and culture of hunting has been deeply ingrained for centuries in all aspects of life in the Iberian peninsula and its rituals, its dress and its conventions were not only as important as those in the cultures of the chase in other European countries but also lasted a great deal longer. This longevity of the ceremonial of hunting in Spain permitted and encouraged the production of knives such as our example and enabled its maker, Eusebio Zuloaga, to flourish as the most eminent member of his craft in Spain and among the most eminent member of his craft in the world. The Zuloaga family of Eibar, in the Basque country, and Madrid were the pre-eminent artists in metal, and especially in metal as used in weapons, in nineteenth century Spain and their skill in decorating cuchillos de monte was no less apparent than their skill in decorating swords, firearms and firearm accessories. Our knife is an example of that skill and came from the workshop of Eusebio Zuloaga at the height of his powers in the mid-nineteenth century. Eusebio Zuloaga (1808–98) was born in Madrid, the son of Blas Zuloaga of Eibar (1782– 1856), armourer to the Royal Bodyguard and honorary chief armourer of the Royal Armoury. He was apprenticed to his uncle, Ramón (b. 1760), in Placencia near Eibar between 1822 and 1827, returning to Madrid to work with his father before going to France in 1830 to work for LePage in Paris and at the Royal Arms Factories at St Etienne. Returning to Madrid in 1833, he held the position of Deputy Armourer to the Royal household between 1834 and 1838, visited Paris and Liège during 1839–40 and


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established his own gunmaking factory in Eibar in 1841. During the 1840s, Zuloaga’s status improved – he was appointed Honorary Gunmaker to Queen Isabella II in 1844 – and his reputation as a virtuoso artist in weapons grew: he was awarded a silver medal at the Exhibition of Spanish Industry in Madrid in 1845. Charged with the refurbishment of the neglected Spanish Royal Armoury in 1847, Eusebio continued to exhibit quality work at international exhibitions, such as those in Madrid in 1850, London in 1851 and Paris in 1855, a French commentator on the work he exhibited at the latter exhibition saying: One cannot praise enough the arms and other metal objects presented by the Sres. Zuloaga, father and son . . .; the iron chiselling, the damascene, the etching as well as the repousse has never had interpreters of such obvious and varied talent . . . By 1855, the ‘father-and-son’ team of Zuloagas was represented by Eusebio and his son Placido (1834–1910) and it will have been from the Zuloaga operation of that period that our fine traditional Spanish hunting knife came. At least two hunting knives comparable with ours were exhibited in London in 1851; one of these, shown in 1851 as part of a garniture of Spanish arms, survives today in the Real Armería in Madrid (no. 0.65). Others, of much the same standard of decoration and period as ours, are part of the collections of the Museo Zuloaga in Zumaya and another, the hilt of which is remarkably similar to that of ours, is in the Musée d’Armes in Liège (no. MAL 10116). The Liège knife, illustrated by Evans, has a grip and quillons pierced and chiselled in almost identical manner to our knife and a quillon block decorated with a trophy of arms on either side; its scabbard is likewise very similarly decorated to ours. At least one of the knives in the Zuloaga museum, illustrated by Lavin, has a panel of etching on its blade that very closely resembles that which decorates ours. Thus, although our


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knife is not signed by Zuloaga, its resemblance to signed examples puts its lineage and manufacture beyond doubt: its quality is self-evident. Literature:

Evans, R. D. C., The Plug Bayonet: an identification guide for collectors, (Shipley, 2002), p. 221, pl. 454. Lavin, J. D., ‘The Zuloaga Armourers’, Journal of the Arms and Armour Society, vol. XII, no. 2, Sept. 1986, pp. 63–148. Lavin, J. D. (ed.), The Art and Tradition of the Zuloagas: Spanish Damascene from the Khalili Collection, (London, 1997).


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38. A Massive and Historic American Gold Walking-Stick Mount, Presented to Benjamin Franklin Washington, dated 1855 Formed of gold to resemble the capital of a column, with eight faceted sides, alternately polished and engraved, encircled at the top by a band of cast and chased foliage and at the base by a plain double convex band forming the collar; the top formed of a raised octagonal collar containing a faceted and polished octagonal piece of gold-veined quartz, the collar further embellished with an octagonal band of cast and chased foliage and the whole hinging open to reveal an inner compartment; the four engraved panels of the sides bearing depictions of a printing press, a manuscript and quill pen and allegorical figures representing the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Republic of California; the four polished panels of the sides engraved with the inscription: Benj. Fr. Washington Presented Aug. 16th 1855 A tribute of Esteem from friends in San Francisco A Worthy Son of the States of his Nativity and Adoption Virginia & California Height: 2 1⁄2 in

Width at top: 2 in

Our magnificent walking stick mount encapsulates much of the spirit of the early days of the State of California. Its material, fine gold and gold-bearing quartz, and decorative iconography made it a wholly appropriate retirement present for a man who was one of the first gold-seeking settlers to travel from the eastern United States to California in 1849: an original ‘49-er’ in fact. Just as our walking stick mount is typical, in its form, of late nineteenth-century American walking-stick mounts, so its recipient was typical of a generation of young Americans who, inspired by the gold fever of 1849, not only made their way by any means in their power to California but also remained in the new state and duly prospered. These young men – and the majority of them were both young and male – so personified the Californian dimension to the ‘American Dream’ that their drive and ambition was encapsulated in the ringing phrase, ‘Go West, Young Man’. This phrase was first used in an editorial by a journalist called John B. L. Soule. Soule used the phrase in an editorial that he wrote for the Terre Haute Express, of Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1851 but it was popularised in 1865 by the journalist Horace Greeley, to whom it is generally – but wrongly – first attributed. This world-famous saying might reasonably have been the motto of the recipient of the walking stick which our fine mount once embellished and it is not without significance that, just as the phrase was coined and popularised by two journalists, it was in the field of journalism that the recipient of the walking stick made his greatest impression in the new State of California. Benjamin Franklin Washington was a great nephew of George Washington, first president of the United States of America. He was born at Cedar Lawn, three miles west of Charlestown, Virginia (now West Virginia) in April 1820 but sources disagree as to the date of his birth and that of his baptism: it may be that he was born on 7 April 1820 and baptised ten days later. What is incontrovertible is that he was as much a son of Virginia as his great uncle and that his parents were John Thornton Augustine Washington and Elizabeth Conrad Bedinger. It seems most likely that he was educated at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and he is said


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to have both studied and practised law in that state. On 22 October 1845 he married Georgiana Hite Ransom of Jefferson County, Virginia; theirs was a marriage that produced five children before his wife’s death in 1860. Little more than this is known about Washington’s life prior to 1849 when, as for so many Americans, the discovery of gold in California transformed his life and set him on a completely different course from that which he may have planned in Virginia. The discovery of gold in California in 1848 galvanised young men, some young women and entrepreneurs all over the Americas and, as the news spread, from further afield too. In Charlestown, Virginia, Benjamin Washington and a group of his friends and contemporaries formed the Charleston Mining Company on semi-military lines and Benjamin recruited his elder brother, Lawrence, and his cousin, Thomas Fletcher Washington, to join the Company which aimed to cross the continent, via the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains, by wagon. The Company comprised eighty-one young men when it left St Joseph, Missouri, on 10 May 1849; it had a constitution, elected captains and commanders of the wagon train and a surgeon. The best-known record of the journey to California was kept in a manuscript journal compiled by Vincent E. Geiger from Staunton, Virginia, and Dr Wakeman Bryarly, from Hartford County in Maryland; this manuscript is now in the Library of Yale University and was published in 1945. From St Joseph, the company followed the Oregon Trail route across Kansas, arriving at Fort Kearney, Nebraska, on 28 May; it crossed the South Platte River near present-day Brule, Nebraska, and reached Ash Hollow on 7 June. Fort Laramie was reached on 14th June, South Pass on 29 June and Fort Hall, Idaho, on 14 July. The company then took the old California Trail up Raft River and across to the Humboldt River drainage in Nevada. From Humboldt Sink, it chose the Donner Lake route over the Sierra Nevada and reached the first area of mining activity on 29 August, three members of the Company having died en route. By no means all the members of the Company intended to become miners: the more entrepreneurial realised that as much money could be made from the gold miners themselves as could be made from gold mining and Washington was an example of this. Together with Geiger and another entrepreneur called William S. Long, Washington established a business making peach pies and selling them to the miners at $1.50 each, thereby turning a healthy profit. As the Gold Rush slowed down, so the peach pie business became less profitable and so Washington returned to his legal vocation, being elected Recorder of Sacramento in 1850 where, as one of his obituaries says, ‘. . . his firm and impartial administration of justice succeeded in subordinating the lawless elements of the community to legal control’. (San Francisco Daily Examiner, 23 January 1872). From 1851 to 1852 he practised law until, with Vincent Geiger, he founded a newspaper in Sacramento called the Democratic State Journal which he and Geiger jointly edited. In 1853, he and Geiger bought the San Francisco Times and Transcript which Washington edited and which brought him to the public eye in no uncertain terms when he was involved in a duel as a result of his taking offence at some articles in the San Francisco Herald and ‘calling out’ the editor, C. F. Washburn in March 1854. Apparently, Washington and Washburn exchanged ten shots with Washington being said to have been shooting to kill. His second shot passed through the brim of Washburn’s hat and his third bullet struck Washburn in the shoulder: at this point, the duel ended. Washington continued as editor of the Times and Transcript until the autumn of 1855 and it was probably on his retirement at that time that he was presented with the walking stick to which our splendid mount belongs.


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Washington was not finished with journalism though, although there then followed a ten-year period of his life in which he served as Collector of the Port of San Francisco from 1857 until 1861 and as Assistant Supervisor of the Indian Reservations in California from 1862 while at the same time building up his 240-acre ranch in Tehama County, where he raised sheep. In 1865 he returned to journalism, becoming editor of the San Francisco Daily Examiner, a position that he retained until shortly before his death in January 1872. Washington attracted fulsome praise in the many obituaries that were written following his death and, not surprisingly perhaps, the longest and most fulsome came from his late newspaper, the Daily Examiner. Too extensive to quote in full, the following extracts may give some sense of the character of the man so well described in the presentation inscription engraved on the side of our splendid walking stick mount more than sixteen years prior to his death. More than six feet in height, of symmetrical proportions, agreeable countenance and manly bearing, he attracted the friendly feelings of all with whom he was brought into contact, whether political friends or adversaries . . . Had he sedulously followed the practice of law and devoted to that pursuit all his mental faculties, he would have outranked many of his fellow men now high on the roll of honor in the profession . . . A better counselor in delicate affairs, requiring unshaken nerve and sound judgment, we have never known. [San Francisco Daily Examiner, 23 January 1872]. Literature:

Potter, D. M. (ed. and intro.), Trail to California: the overland journal of Vincent Geiger and Wakeman Bryarly, (New Haven, 1945), passim. Wells, A., History of the Washington Family, (New York, 1879).


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39. The magnificent and unique sabre presented by The City of London to Major General Sir William Fenwick Williams of Kars, baronet, K.C.B., 1856 Of shamshir form, in the style commonly known as ‘mameluke-hilted’, the hilt and scabbard mounts of massive silver-gilt, cast and chased in high relief in the Baroque Revival style, the scabbard mounts pierced; the hilt struck on the nearside upper langet with the full London hallmarks for the assaying year 1855–6 and the maker’s mark of Robert Hennell III, the scabbard mounts similarly struck. The hilt comprising three parts: the silver-gilt frame for the grip, decorated with chiselled lines and florets and terminating in a grotesque horned and moustached mask at the pommel from which descends an acanthus leaf; the ivory grips, deeply chiselled with floral ornament and leaves, fastened to the grip’s frame with four rivets comprising cabochon-cut rubies in gilt cups and incorporating, at the pommel, a gilded cylinder with a knurled rim through which passes the sword knot of crimson and gold roundcord, secured by three crimson and gold Turk’s heads and terminating in a crimson and gold acorn; the crossguard massively formed in one piece, the quillon block centred on either side by a grotesque horned mask amidst foliage with an acanthus leaf above and descending scales below to form the langets and the quillons comprising twisted columns terminating in two diminishing rows of curled foliage with dogs’ mask terminals. The wooden, velvetcovered scabbard with three suitably massive mounts, each cast, chased and pierced with foliate ornament and iconography: the upper mount with the figures of Britannia and Fame on the offside and Mars and Neptune on the nearside; the middle mount with the Arms of the Corporation of the City of London on the offside and a draped putto – as messenger or herald – holding a scroll on the nearside; the bottom mount with classical trophies of arms and masks on both sides, the chape formed of acanthus leaves and terminating in a baroque scroll; the upper and middle mounts supporting mask-ended fixed loops for the scabbard’s two fluted and twisted loose rings; a line of narrow gold lace running along the back of the scabbard. The curved, single-edged blade with a false edge 9 inches long etched for most of its length with interlaced foliate ornament and panels, a vacant panel on the nearside and, at the forte, with the maker’s name henry wilkinson pall mall london , and, on the offside, with the Arms of the Corporation of the City of London, the initials wfw and a panel enclosing the inscription:

presented by the city of london to major general sir william fenwick williams of kars, baronet. k.c.b. for his heroic defence of the fortress of kars. 1855. the forte on the offside enclosing the brass proof stamp of Henry Wilkinson and the blade struck on the back edge at the forte with the Wilkinson blade number 7360. The sword contained in its brass-mounted, velvet-lined mahogany box, the lid inset with a brass disc within a brass circular hinging handle engraved the city of london to major

general sir wm. fenwick williams of kars, bart. k.c.b. Overall length: 39 in

Blade length: 32 1⁄2 in


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Our magnificent sword is one of only two presented by the City of London in the aftermath of the war between Britain and her allies and Russia of 1854–56. The fact that so few swords were presented by the City following the war may reflect the ambivalence felt in certain quarters towards the conduct of the war by many senior British officers, something which can be contrasted with the enormous outpouring of presentation swords and gold boxes by the City as rewards for numerous senior officers during the wars with France of 1793–1815. In a war in which few senior officers of the British army came to merit being regarded as heroic – that being a quality reserved in this instance for the ordinary British soldiers, whose qualities of heroism and forbearance were widely recognised and trumpeted – the achievements of William Fenwick Williams and his immediate subordinates in the defence of Kars gave Britain a genuine senior-officer hero whose merits could be recognised and rewarded. Our splendid, remarkable and important sword was the result of that process. It is known that General Williams’s sword cost the City of London two hundred guineas (£210.00) and in 1856 that bought a substantial amount. Our sword’s mounts are of massively cast and chased silver that has been very heavily gilded; they are from the workshop of Robert Hennell III (1794–1868), one of the most eminent London manufacturing and retailing silversmiths of his day and, in 1855–56, trading as Robert Hennell and Sons with premises at 14 Northumberland Street, Strand. Having initially voted to present General Williams with a gold box containing the Freedom of the City, the Court of Common Council changed its mind on 26 June 1856 and resolved instead to present him with a sword. The sword itself was presented just over a month later, on 31 July 1856. Williams arrived in England on Monday, 16 June 1856, but it seems unlikely that he would have been contacted by the City authorities until after the vote on the 26th. Although it is known that Messrs Wilkinson were invited to submit designs for presentation swords by the City subsequent to the introduction of competitive tendering for such projects after 1859, Williams’s sword is the only City presentation sword to have been retailed by Wilkinson and so its procurement from that firm, which had been active in the manufacture of naval and military swords since the 1830s, may have been Williams’s idea: perhaps for him – as for so many contemporaries – ‘swords’ meant ‘Wilkinson’. Wilkinson’s records show that the firm manufactured the blade for Williams’s sword in late October 1855: it was proved and returned from proof on the 23rd of that month. Described in the record for blade number 7360 as a ‘solid Cimeter Generals in wood scabbard’, it was clearly made for stock and probably with the standard General Officer’s hilt that was noted as having been attached to it on 29 October 1855. It was, however, returned for ‘embossing’ – by which is meant having the etched detail added to it – on 24 May 1856, the embossing added at that time being described as ‘Fancy’, which would certainly describe the etched decoration on the blade of the Williams sword. It must have been at about this time, and certainly well in advance of the end of May 1856, that the sword was assembled, complete with Hennell’s mounts, since the hallmarks on the hilt and scabbard mounts are for the assaying year of 1855–6, which ended at midnight on 29 May 1856. William Fenwick Williams was born at Annapolis, Nova Scotia, on 4 December 1799; he was the second son of Commissary-General Thomas Williams, barrackmaster at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and his wife, Maria, daughter of Captain Thomas Walker. After an education at school in Annapolis, he


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became a gentleman cadet at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, south-east of London, on 23 May 1815. Although he graduated after about three years’ study, he was forced to wait for a commission in the Royal Artillery until 1825 because of the substantial reduction in the size of the army following the end of the wars with France after the allied victory at the battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815. Commissioned second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery on 14 July 1825, his subsequent promotions came regularly: first lieutenant, 16 November 1827; second captain, 13 August 1840; first captain, 26 February 1846. The early part of Williams’s career was passed uneventfully at Gibraltar, in Ceylon and in Britain until 1841, when he went to Turkey for employment in the arsenal at Constantinople (now Istanbul) and on attachment to help train and re-organise the Turkish army. In 1843, he was appointed British commissioner, based at Erzerum in Turkish Armenia, for the TurkoPersian negotiations preceding the treaty signed between Turkey and Persia at Erzurum in 1847; in 1848 he was appointed as the British commissioner for the settlement of disputes arising over the Turko-Persian boundary. In recognition of his military and diplomatic services over a long period and in what was not only a sensitive area but also one that – unknown to him at that time – prepared him well for his service in Turkey during 1854–6, he received the brevet ranks of major (22 May 1846) and that of lieutenant-colonel (31 March 1848) and was decorated by both the British and Persian governments, being created a Companion of the civil division of the British Order of the Bath (CB) in 1852 and receiving a senior grade in the Persian Order of the Lion and Sun during the same period. Williams’s period of attachment to the Turkish Army lasted for fourteen years and he was posted back to Erzerum on the outbreak of the war between Russia and the allied powers of Britain, France, Turkey and Piedmont-Sardinia


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late in March 1854. He had been promoted to the regimental rank of lieutenant-colonel on 18 September 1853 but was given the brevet rank of colonel with effect from 28 November 1854 in order to give him suitable stature among the Turks and enhance his role as British Commissioner at the headquarters of the Turkish Army in Erzerum. In what could have been a comfortable posting away from the scene of the land battles in the Crimea, Williams was energetic and effective in rallying and coordinating the Turkish army. His energies and value were recognised by the Sultan, who made him both a pasha and a ferik, or lieutenantgeneral, in January 1855 and Williams soon became, in effect, commander-in-chief of the Turkish forces in eastern Turkey. A principal stronghold against the expected Russian land assault in eastern Turkey was the frontier city of Kars, 110 miles north-east of Erzerum, which Williams visited in September 1854 and where he left his aide-de-camp, First Lieutenant Christopher Teesdale, Royal Artillery, during the winter of 1854–5 in order to establish what discipline and organisation he could in preparation for the inevitable Russian attack. On 1 June 1855 information reached Erzerum of the movement of the Russian army towards Kars and Williams went there immediately. The initial Russian attack on 10 June was repelled but the fortress was besieged, with subsequent massed Russian assaults on the fortress taking place on 7 August and 29 September – both of which were savagely pressed forward and equally savagely resisted. As the Russians settled down to a long siege, so supplies of food began to run out in Kars and disease spread: Williams was forced to use summary capital punishment in order to maintain the discipline of the starving and cholera-stricken troops and the civilian occupants of the city. After two months, with the weather worsening and the city on the verge of famine and epidemic disease, Williams learned on 22 November 1855 that there was no hope of relief and, his troops too exhausted to retreat, he opened negotiations with the


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Russian commander, General Mouraviev, for a capitulation on honourable terms. In his reply acceding to an honourable capitulation, Mouraviev wrote to Williams, You have made yourself a name in history and posterity will stand amazed at the courage, the endurance and the discipline which the siege of Kars has called forth in the remains of an army. On 25 November 1855, Williams surrendered Kars to the Russians and, as a mark of his respect for the endurance of the garrison and the leadership of its officers, General Mouraviev allowed Williams and his officers to retain their swords. Williams was taken into custody near Moscow and remained there until the peace treaty between the Allies and Russia was signed on 30 March 1856. In Britain, the government overcame its unwillingness and inability to relieve Kars by glorying in the tenacity shown by Williams and his garrison, the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, speaking of it in the following terms: ‘A greater display of courage or ability, or perseverance under difficulties, or inexhaustible resource of mind than were evinced by General Williams never were exhibited in the course of our military history.’ Williams was loaded with honours, both while in captivity in Russia and after his return to Britain. He was created a Knight Commander of the military division of the Order of the Bath (KCB) and a Knight of the First Class of the Imperial Turkish Order of the Medjidie in February 1856. The sultan also awarded him the medal and clasp for Kars and while he was en route home, in May 1856, Williams was created a baronet ‘of Kars’. Parliament voted him a pension of £1,000 a year for life, he was made an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws of the University of Oxford and the French Emperor Napoleon III bestowed upon him the decoration of Grand Officier (2nd class) of the Légion d’Honneur. Recognition of a more transitory, but no less agreeable, nature was also showered upon Williams, mainly in the form of dinners given to him by, among others, the United Services and Army and Navy Clubs and the Garrison at Woolwich. He was also asked to lay the foundation stone of the chapel at Harrow School. Representatives of the Court of Common Council of the City of London will have contacted General Williams shortly after his return to Britain since, on 26 June 1856, the Court recorded the following motion: That the Freedom of the City, in a Gold Box of the value of One hundred guineas, be presented to Major General Sir William Fenwick Williams, Bart., as an acknowledgment of his gallantry, devotion and military skill in defending the important town of Kars during the late memorable siege.


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This Motion was immediately amended as follows: That the Corporation of London deeply sympathise with General Sir William Fenwick Williams, of Kars, Bart., Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, on the severe sufferings he has undergone at Kars and regard with sentiments of ardent admiration the discipline, the calm bravery, the judgment and sagacity evinced throughout the siege of Kars, as also the honourable terms of capitulation secured by the General at the time of surrender. That the Corporation, in testimony of such distinguished services, present the Freedom of this ancient City to the General, accompanying the gift with a sword of the value of One hundred guineas. Resolved unanimously in the affirmative.

The presentation of the Freedom and his sword was lengthily reported in The Times of 1 August 1856, from which report the following extracts are taken. Yesterday a Court was held, the most interesting business of which was the presentation of the freedom of the city to the hero of Kars, together with a magnificent sword, unanimously voted on the 26th of June. The members of the corporation and the numerous visitors received the gallant General with shouts of applause and welcome, and, after the usual forms were gone through, Sir John Key, the chamberlain . . . addressed General Sir William Fenwick Williams as follows: “ . . .The only chapter in the history of the Russian war in which a great achievement will be indissolubly united with a great name will be headed ‘General Sir William Fenwick Williams and the Defence of Kars’; . . . you must not wonder if the City of London – if the acclamations of your countrymen – if the preserved annals of England’s brave, hold you up to the admiration of posterity as a model to every commander of a beleaguered fortress – as the immortal hero of Kars (loud cheering) . . . Sir, I will detain you no longer no longer than merely to add that if on the hilt of this sword, which I have now, in the name of this Court, the honour of presenting you, any testimony had been required in addition to the simple words it bears, none more appropriate could be found than that address of your valiant, generous and noble foe – ‘General Williams, you have made yourself a name in history, and posterity will stand amazed at the endurance, the courage and the discipline which this siege has called forth in the remainder of any army. Let us arrange a capitulation which shall satisfy the demands of war without outraging humanity’ (prolonged cheering)”. Having been promoted major general on 2 November 1855, while in command at Kars, Williams held command of the Woolwich garrison from 1856 to 1859, at the same time sitting in Parliament as Member of Parliament for Calne in Wiltshire as a Palmerstonian Liberal. From 1859 to 1865 he served in Canada as commander of the forces, being promoted lieutenant-general on 15 December 1864, five days after having reached the senior rank in the Royal Artillery, that of colonel-commandant. From 1865 to 1867 he was Governor of Nova Scotia and, from 1871 until


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1876, Governor of Gibraltar, being promoted general on 2 August 1868. He was promoted in the Order of the Bath to its senior grade, that of Knight Grand Cross (GCB), on 20 May 1871. On 9 May 1881 he was appointed Constable of the Tower of London. Williams died, unmarried, at Garland’s Hotel, Suffolk Street, London, on 26 July 1883, and was buried at Brompton cemetery in west London on 30 July. Literature:

Culme, J. The Directory of Gold and Silversmiths, Jewellers and Allied Traders, 1838–1914 (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1987), pp. 252–3. Hennell, P., ‘The Hennells – a continuity of craftsmanship’, The Connoisseur, vol. 182 (January–April 1973), pp. 78–86. Grimwade, A., London Goldsmiths, their marks and lives 1697–1837, (London, 1990, 3rd edn.), pp. 168 and 544. Lake, A. L., Kars and our captivity in Russia . . . , (London, 1856), passim. Sandwith, H., A Narrative of the Siege of Kars . . . , (London, 1856), passim. Southwick, L., ‘The Recipients, Goldsmiths and Costs of the Swords presented by the Corporation of the City of London’, Journal of the Arms and Armour Society, vol. XIII, no. 3 (March 1990), p. 207. Southwick, L., ‘ The Design Competitions for Swords of Honour presented by the Corporation of the City of London between 1868 and 1901’, Journal of the Arms and Armour Society, vol. XVII, no. 2 (September 2001), pp. 91–121. Southwick, L., London Silver-hilted Swords: their makers, suppliers and allied traders, with directory, (Leeds, 2001), pp. 257–8.


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Major General Sir William Fenwick Williams, Baronet, KCB engraved by D J Pound after J Watkins 1856. National Portrait Gallery, London.


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40. A Magnificent French Exhibition Hunting Sword by P. Jouhaud, circa 1860 Formed largely of cut and polished steel with mounts of cast and chased gilded bronze. The pommel comprising an openwork crown composed of scrolling fillets of polished steel enclosing addorsed lions’ heads in gilded bronze; the silver grip cast and chased on both sides with a mounted huntsman above a fox’s mask above a stag’s head, all flanked by acanthus rondels and ovals, the grip ferrules formed of bands of gilded bronze acanthus and the grip flanked by scrolling fillets of polished steel; the polished steel openwork quillons formed of addorsed winged dragons with gaping jaws, the bodies engraved with scales and scrolls, surrounded by branches of cut and polished steel with scrolls, shell flutes and faceted knobs; the blade of flattened lenticular section, double-edged, engraved with a decorative fuller and panels of scrolling foliage, one side having an engraved scroll at the forte containing the inscription

jouhaud 4

medaille d’honneur The polished steel scabbard engraved overall with scrolling foliage and flanked by scrolling fillets of cut and polished steel, the chape matching the pommel but enclosing an oval device in gilded bronze and the top and bottom of the scabbard matching the quillon block but embellished with engraved collars of gilded bronze. Overall length: 26 in

Blade length: 14 1⁄2 in

It is eight years since we were able to offer an exhibition-quality hunting sword from this littleknown maker: our catalogue of 1999 featured a very similar sword as item 43. Our present example is so similar in many of its decorative elements to the example offered in 1999 that it seems reasonable to assume that they were made at about the same time and for the same purpose – for display at one of the great international exhibitions of the mid-nineteenth century. The iconography decorating its hilt leaves no doubt at all that our sword is a hunting sword of the type favoured by mid-nineteenth-century continental European sportsmen but, in the case of our magnificent example, made solely for exhibition in one of the great cast iron and glass exhibition palaces built in many a European capital and American city after about 1851. By the mid-nineteenth century, the art of cutting and polishing steel had been established for at least a century, reaching its apogee in France, Britain and Russia by the end of the eighteenth century and transcending silver in both quality and cost because the immense amount of work and high level of skill involved in its production. The international exhibitions of the mid-nineteenth century were showcases not only for industrial mass-manufactures but also for the display of the quality artistic goods of the participating nations and prizes were awarded for excellence in most categories. In nineteenth century continental Europe, hunting in all its forms was accompanied by ritual and dress to an extent not seen in Britain or North America and so the manufacture of hunting swords and equipment (see also items 35 and 37 in this catalogue) reached levels in France, Spain and the German-speaking lands that appeared quite disproportionate to British


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eyes. A part of this process was the manufacture for International Exhibitions of swords such as ours and the one offered in 1999: items of literally fantastic design never intended to be used in the hunting field but an acceptable, and indeed expected, part of any suite of arms exhibited on such occasions. Given that the artist responsible for the creation of our fantastic swords – this and that one offered previously – was, as the inscription on the blade indicates, a winner of a Medal of Honour probably awarded by an international exhibition, it is especially sad that, as yet, nothing has been discovered about him. He may have been the Pierre Joyeau who registered a mark as a Paris silversmith in 1823 or the Joyau, described as a sculpteur-modeleur, who is known to have worked for the French jeweller Jean Valentin Morel (fl. 1794–1860): certainly, our sword, as an exhibition quality item of jewellery as much as a weapon, is from the atelier of a craftsman of the very highest quality and working not as a weapons manufacturer but in the decorative arts. Although the assumption has been made that ‘P. Jouhaud’ was French, it is equally likely that he was Belgian since skilled decorators of presentation-quality arms were known to have been working in the Kingdom of Belgium long before its independence from the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1839 and the world-famous Musée d’Armes in Liège contains many fine examples of their work, although, regrettably, nothing by a Monsieur Jouhaud. Literature:

North, A. R. E., ‘Arms and Exhibitions’, The Journal of the Decorative Arts Society 1850 to the Present, vol. 25, (2001), pp. 97–102. Dictionnaire des poinçons de fabricants d’ouvrages d’or et d’argent de Paris et de la Seine (Paris, 1991), p. 295. Vever, H., La Bijouterie Française au XIXième siècle (Paris, 1906), vol. I, p. 267.


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41. A Fine and Massive Japanese Kakae Zutsu (Hand Cannon), dated 1864 A fine heavy gun, the elegant barrel of rounded section with a flat top, tapering forward from the breech to a flared muzzle, fitted with a triangular foresight and a pierced and grooved block to the rear; to the side, a touch hole with a brass pan cover. The exposed area of the barrel decorated in silver and gold nunome (overlay) with a design of a dragon in clouds; in front of the rearsight is the name of the gun Tetsuzan (iron mountain) and a date Tensho gan nen (1573); to the rear of the backsight is the Matsudaira hollyhock leaf mon (badge) in gold and the name of the owner Matsudaira Echizen No Kami Yoshiyuki. Underneath, the barrel is engraved with the maker’s name Shiro Masayuki, the date Bunki¯u San Midzuno-I Nen Roku Gatsu (third year of Bunki¯u and cycle combination for 1864, sixth month), Kunitomo Kyub¯ee En Ju (a respectful acknowledgement of an ancestor) and G¯o Yaku San P¯o Tamesu Kore (tested three times with strong powder). Fully stocked to the muzzle in oak, black lacquered with Matsudaira mon at the breech and along the sides. Trigger and side plates of brass with an iron serpentine decorated in silver. The stock signed inside Yoshida Saburozaemon Naomichi. Length: 29 in

Weight: 53 lb

In the year 1543 a Portuguese trading vessel was forced ashore on the Japanese island of Tanegashima off the coast of Ky¯ush¯u: a small incident in itself but one that had far reaching effects for Japan. The survivors were welcomed by the governor of the island, Tanegashima Tokitaka: the Portuguese were understandably grateful but at the same time making every effort to impress the Japanese, who to the European way of thinking at the time, were an inferior race. Lord Tokitaka was most impressed by their display of firearms and seeing a duck brought down in flight convinced him that he must acquire this new weapon. He managed to purchase one or possibly two guns at enormous expense and immediately instructed his swordsmith to copy them. The use of metal was second nature to these smiths and the hammering of a flat piece of iron over a round mandrill and welding the join was comparatively easy but effectively sealing the breech created problems which initially defeated them for several months. The arrival of another Portuguese vessel solved the problem. It is said that the swordsmith offered the services of his seventeen-yearold daughter to the ship’s armourer in exchange for the answer, a screw-in breech plug: the problem solved, the production of guns could go ahead. It is quite possible that the Japanese had knowledge of gunpowder in some form from their meeting with the Mongols, who used explosive projectiles, in the thirteenth century and from their contact with the Chinese, who had used gunpowder in fireworks for centuries, but the gun was a new and exciting weapon. It came at a time in Japanese history called Sengoku Jidai: the time of the country at war. Rival warlords vied with each other for local control and latterly the control of the country. The guns’ potential on the battlefield was obvious and within a short space of time Tokitaka had amassed a small arsenal of (some say) six hundred guns which he traded – one assumes to recoup his initial outlay. Lord Tokitaka himself had his vassals trained in the use of guns with a high degree of success and other war lords did the same, arming whole sections of their armies with them. The gun was never considered a noble weapon: it killed at a distance, had no respect for rank and could be used by anybody, whereas the sword and the bow were the chosen


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weapons of the samurai, the warrior class. The gun was the weapon of the ashigaru, the foot soldier, who was often a conscripted farmer or peasant who was not skilled in the arts of war but who, armed with a gun, could be used to devastating effect by a good general. The most often repeated example of this was at the battle of Nagashino in 1575 when Oda Nobunaga confronted Takeda Katsuyori. Katsuyori’s cavalry were a much feared force and to defend his army against their devastating charge Nobunaga placed three thousand matchlock men, arranged in three ranks, behind a wooden palisade. When Katsuyori charged, the first rank knelt, fired and retired to the rear to reload, the second rank repeated the process and then the third did the same, so keeping up a ceaseless fire which decimated Katsuyori’s cavalry. As the demand for firearms increased, specialist manufacturers emerged, although some daimyo still had guns made by their own gunmakers. Three centres of manufacture emerged: probably one of the first was in Ky¯ush¯u close to Tanegashima and the guns origin; in 1554 production started in Sakai near Osaka and shortly after in 1560 the Kunitomo group commenced work near Ky o ¯ to. There were minor stylistic variations between the different areas but in the main the style of the gun remained close to its original Portuguese ancestors. Guns varied greatly in size: some were as small as pistols and some slightly longer versions suitable for use on a horse; longer versions were more useful on foot and larger versions could only conveniently used from castle walls or ships. Latterly cannon and mortars were made. The guns used by the ashigaru were practical basic weapons largely unadorned and functional but others used by men of rank were often elaborately decorated with silver and gold inlay on the iron and soft metal on the stock. In the Momoyama and early Edo periods, from the second half of the sixteenth to the early seventeenth century, the gun was essentially a weapon of war but after the successful subjugation of the country by Tokugawa Iyeyasu and the formation of the Tokugawa Shogunate a relative peace followed and the gun took on a different role. The daimyo kept their armouries in case of need and the gun became a more prestigious item used by the nobility for hunting and target practice and for display. The Sankin Kotai System was instituted by the Tokugawa Shogunate: as a result of this, the families of the daimyo were in essence held hostage in the capital Edo while most of the daimyo were forced to attend the Shogunal court biannually. The times of arrival and


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departure were strictly laid down but the result was a fairly continuous movement of daimyo and their retinues travelling the roads, each trying to outdo the other in opulent display and elaborately decorated weapons played no small part in this. Guns like our fine example were called either Kakae Zutsu, hand cannon, or Hiya Zutsu, fire-arrow cannon, and were prestige pieces. How they were used is something of a mystery, although there are a number of illustrations in Japan of men firing guns of our type from a kneeling position: the weight and the possible recoil of the weapon makes this rather doubtful so more probably it was mounted on some form of stand and fired in celebration rather than anger to the greater glory of its owner. The Matsudaira clan were a certain number of families closely related to the ruling Tokugawa; the three-hollyhock-leaf mon (badge) was used by the Tokugawa and branch families bearing the original clan name Matsudaira. Literature:

Bottomley, I. and Hopson, P., Arms and Armour of the Samurai, (New York 1988), pp. 124–37. Exhibition Catalogue, Nippon-Shi Miru TeppoTen (Exhibition of old guns and matchlocks) Yomimuri Shimbun, (Osaka, 1972). Exhibition Catalogue, Nippon No Teppo (Exhibition of guns and armour), (Osaka Castle, 1983). Sinclaire, C., Samurai, (London, 2001), pp. 128–37. Takoro, (Sakichi) Hinawa-Ju (matchlock), (Tokyo, 1964). Tsukahira, T. G., Feudal control in Tokugawa Japan: the Sankin Kotai system, (Cambridge, Mass., 1970).


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42. A Magnificent and Evocative Italian Model of the Equestrian Statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni by Andrea del Verrochio and Alessandro Leopardi (1483–95) by Giuseppe Franzosi, Milan 1874 Finely cast and chased in bronze, heightened in places with gilding and silvering, and depicting the condottiere Bartolomeo Colleoni (circa 1400–75) armoured and mounted, the rider’s left hand grasping the reins and his right hand holding a baton of command, his head raised, back arched and body turned slightly to his left, the outside of the cantle of the saddle bearing in gold lettering the maker’s details g. franzosi. fece. a milano.1874; the horse apparently in motion, with near foreleg raised, ears erect and forward and head also turned slightly to its left; the horse and rider mounted upon a classically proportioned catafalque similar to the upper part of the original statue’s base, with a cornice formed of a band of egg-and-dart moulding above a band of dentilling, a grotesque frieze of trophies, winged mythological beasts and scrolling foliage and a base band of panels of acanthus above a plinth band of lozenges enclosing quatrefoils and leaves, the frieze and plinth band with their raised decoration heightened by gilding and silvering. Overall height: 20 3⁄4 in Height of base: 6 3⁄8 in Depth of base: 9 in Width of base: 15 in In a city that, even by Italian standards, has a wealth of buildings and monuments to delight the eye, the great equestrian monument to Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice’s Campo SS Giovanni e Paulo must surely rank among not only the great equestrian statues of the world but also as one of Venice’s greatest monuments. The enormous implied power of the horse and rider, together with the monument’s profound sculptural artistic qualities, the starkness of its position and its height from the ground in the paved square all combine, intentionally, to impress the observer with a sense of the importance of the soldier commemorated and the wealth of the city that commissioned the monument after his death. Our, much smaller but no less impressive, bronze model of this world-famous monument was cast and chased in Milan almost exactly four hundred years after the death of Colleoni, in the first decade of the existence of the Kingdom of Italy and in a year when Milan hosted one of those international exhibitions of arts and manufactures so popular in the Europe of the late nineteenth century. Bartolomeo Colleoni was one of the great mercenary commanders of late medieval Italy. Born about 1400 in Solza, near Bergamo, he came from a family of soldiers, his great-grandfather having commanded the forces of the Pope and his father and cousins being soldiers for the Guelph, or Welf, family. At a time when very few states had anything in the way of ‘standing’, or permanent, military forces, it was usual for mercenaries, known in Italy as condottieri after the condotta – the contract for their military service which they received from those who hired them, to be hired by the cities or states that needed them in time of war. Since the many cities and states of Italy were almost constantly at war, with each other as well as with foreign powers, during the fifteenth century, that period was one in which few mercenaries were unemployed for long. Colleoni spent four years as a page at the court of Filippo Arcelli in Piacenza before becoming a condottiere in the forces of Braccio da Montone in 1418 and subsequently joining the army of Jacopo Caldora, in the service of Joanna II of Aragon, in 1420; he was to spend all the 1420s serving with Caldora. In 1431,


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Colleoni first entered the service of Venice, when he was given a command under her mercenary general Carmagnola, and he served the city in a number of campaigns until 1442, when he changed his allegiance to Filippo Maria Visconti of Milan. Colleoni was never entirely trusted by the Milanese and was imprisoned for a year under suspicion of treachery during 1446–47, in which latter year, following his release, he led a Milanese force at the battle of Frascata and inflicted a serious defeat upon a French army. In 1448 Colleoni changed sides again and returned to Venetian service, fighting for the city for three years against the republic of Milan but when his fellow mercenary Francesco Sforza gained power in Milan and Colleoni was denied supreme command by the Venetians, he changed sides again and joined Sforza in Milan, fighting for him against the Venetians between 1452 and 1453. Recognising his worth as a general, Venice bought him back in 1454 and presented him with his baton of command, as captain-general of Venice, in 1455, subsequently reinforcing this gesture of confidence in him by having the baton re-presented by the Doge at a grand ceremony when Colleoni’s contract was renewed in 1457. By the middle of the fifteenth century, Venice was much more than a trading city on islands in the lagoon: she had conquered extensive territory on the mainland and this required a permanent military force to protect and defend it. Thus, Colleoni was retained as captain-general of the Venetian forces until his death in 1475, although – in fact – he did little actual soldiering in that period: his very presence and influence may have been enough to protect Venice for the last twenty years of his life. The requirement to retain professional mercenary soldiers for longer than their standard two-year condotta, and also to ensure their loyalty and lack of temptation from being seduced from ‘La Serenissima’ by better offers, necessitated Venice having to reward her military commanders lavishly and in ways that gave them a stake in the stability and power of the state. These rewards took three forms: immense salaries, grants of nobility, lands and titles (that could be revoked if the grantee was seduced from his loyalty to the state) and the possibility of permanent, post mortem, monuments to their grandeur and military prowess. Monuments to individuals represented a form of immortality and recognition dating back to classical times, with echoes of the great equestrian statues of the commanders of Imperial Rome – of which that of Marcus Aurelius still survived in Colleoni’s time and still survives today. By the late fifteenth century, there were also several equestrian statues in northern Italy that had recently been erected to proclaim and enhance the grandeur of the individuals commemorated, many of whom were comparative arrivistes who had won their status through force of arms, and so Venice’s decision to honour soldiers of exceptional merit had both an honourable historical precedent as well as one consistent with contemporary practice. The monument to Colleoni, which he had specifically requested from the city under the terms of his will, was the third to be commissioned and erected by Venice, the previous two being that of Jacopo Savelli by an anonymous artist erected in Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice following Savelli’s death during the siege of Padua in 1405 and that of the great mercenary captain Gattamelata by Donatello created and erected in front of Il Santo in Padua – then belonging to Venice – in 1447–50. It seems clear that Colleoni was considering monumental ways of ensuring his immortality some years before his death, an equestrian portrait of him in fresco in Bergamo dating from circa 1469 and his elaborate tomb, designed by Amadeo in consultation with Colleoni in the early 1470s and also in Bergamo, bearing witness to this. His true assessment of his worth to Venice came when he was dictating his will in October 1475, in the weeks before his death, in a codicil to which he asked that Venice, ‘commission a portrait of the famous lord who is the testator


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of this will, above a bronze horse, and place it in the Piazza San Marco in Venice to his perpetual memory’. Colleoni left no male heirs and so the majority of his estate either reverted to, or was claimed by, Venice upon his death: by the end of 1475 Venice had claimed 500,000 ducats from Colleoni’s estate, and was to borrow almost half as much again in 1482, and the financial legacy left by Colleoni is thought to have contributed significantly to the city avoiding bankruptcy caused by its continuing conflict with the Ottoman Empire, then expanding rapidly up the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea. By mid-1479, the Venetian senate had agreed to commission and erect a suitable monument to Colleoni but not in the Piazza San Marco: then, as now, that was a location simply too grand and prominent for the honouring of a single individual. A competition to design and execute the monument resulted, which three sculptors entered but opinion has long been divided about their identities: all that is certain is that it was won by Andrea del Verrochio, who is known to have worked actively on the sculpture from 1486 until his death in 1488. On Verrochio’s death, completion of the sculpture was discussed by the senate with Alessandro Leopardi and in 1490 he was commissioned to finish it. By 1494, it was clearly finished, since that is when the decision was taken to locate it in the Campo SS Giovanni e Paulo, which was paved in 1495 in order to provide the correct setting, and so successful was it considered to be that Leopardi was appointed to a post at the Mint with an annual salary of 100 ducats. The statue was gilded and unveiled on 21 March 1496 and has remained there ever since, although none of its original gilding remains. Modern scholars attribute the greater part of the horse and much of the body of the sculpture to Verrochio, with the horse’s tail and the face of Colleoni to Leopardi; much of the chasing of the final casting would, of course, have been executed by Leopardi, as were the details of the figure’s armour, the harness and the saddle. The Colleoni monument would have become known to a wide audience during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as rich young men visited Italy on that part of their education known as ‘the Grand Tour’ and images of it would have circulated in increasing quantities through engravings. By that time, the church of SS Giovanni e Paulo had become something of a pantheon for the Venetian state since, from the Renaissance onward, it had been used to house the tombs of Venetian doges as well as the tombs and monuments of eminent sailors and soldiers who had distinguished themselves in the service of Venice. The creation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1870 gave impetus to the celebration of ‘national’ heroes: among these would naturally have been Bartolomeo Colleoni – a hero in his own time and publicly and memorably immortalised in bronze for, at that time, four hundred years since. Our wonderfully evocative and exquisitely cast model of Colleoni’s monument encapsulates the new spirit of 1870s Italy and was probably made for sale to a visitor to the Exposizione storica d’Arte industriale that took place in Milan in 1874. Giuseppe Franzosi is recorded working as a bronze-founder and chiseller in Milan from 1873. Among his other known works are a fine, cast and chased, oval iron shield depicting The Flood and a table bell and inkstand made after designs by the architect Angelo Colla and supplied for the Marino Palace in Milan. Literature:

Butterfield, A., The Sculptures of Andrea del Verrochio, (New Haven and London, 1997), pp. 159–83. Colle, E., Griseri, A. and Valeriani, R., Bronzi decorativi in Italia: bronzisti e fonditori italiani dal Seicento all’Ottocentro, (Milan, 2001).


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CATALOGUING & DISPLAYING YOUR COLLECTION

We can offer a full research, cataloguing and appraisal service utilising the extensive knowledge and experience of a variety of consultants and scholars. This can result in the creation of an illustrated catalogue of your collection, resulting not only in a permanent memorial but also in a valuable record for reference in the event of damage or loss. We can undertake both conservation and restoration work. We are always happy to help with the display of a collection. The display of suits of armour is crucially important. We can supply mannequins with fully articulated torsos and locking nuts and complete with excellent heads. We can offer two different models of horse: one with all four legs on the ground and one prancing.


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BOOKS FOR SALE We deal in the rarer out-of-print books and a list of some of our current titles is set out below. These are generally for the advanced collector or serious bibliophile. We are always interested in purchasing either entire libraries or rare single volumes. Claesen, Charles Recueil d’ornements et de sujets pour être appliqués à l’ornementation des armes d’après les dessins des principaux artistes, Liège, 1856. Dillon, Viscount An Almain Armourer’s Album, London, 1905. Drummond, James Ancient Scottish Weapons, Edinburgh and London, 1881. Gilot, C. Nouveaux Desseins D’Arquebuserie, Paris, circa 1700. Haenel, Erich Kostbare Waffen, Leipzig, 1923. [Kienbusch] The Kretzschmar von Kienbusch Collection of Armor and Arms, Princeton, 1963. Laking, Sir G. F. A Record of European Armour and Arms through Seven Centuries, 5 vols, London, 1920–2, (sold with the following volume) Cripps-Day, F. H. A Record of Armour Sales 1881–1928, London, 1925. Lenz, E. Von Die Waffensammlung des Grafen S. D. Scherrmetew in St. Petersburg, Leipzig, 1897. Logan, James The Clans of the Scottish Highlands, 2 vols, London, 1845. Meyrick, Sir Samuel Rush A Critical Inquiry into Antient Armour, 3 vols, London, 1842. Payne-Gallwey, Sir R. The Crossbow, London, 1903. Skelton, Joseph Engraved Illustrations of Ancient Armour from the Collection of Sir S. R. Meyrick at Goodrich Court, Herefordshire, 2 vols, London, 1830. Stöcklein, Dr H. Meister Des Eisenschnittes, Esslingen, 1922. Trapp, O. G. Die Churburger Rüstkammer, London, 1929. For in-print books on Military History and Arms and Armour we recommend Ken Trotman Limited, PO Box 505, Huntingdon, PE29 2XW, England, website: www.kentrotman.com Contact Richard Brown, tel. +44 (0)1480 454292, fax +44 (0)1480 384651 or email: enquiries@kentrotman.com.


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2008 ANTIQUE SHOWS The Winter Antiques Show, which we have exhibited at since 1993, will run from Friday, 18 January, to Sunday, 27 January. The show’s preview, with a benefit for the East Side House Settlement, will take place on Thursday, 17 January (call 718 292 7392 for information or visit www.winterantiquesshow.com). It is held at The Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street, New York City.

Following this we will be exhibiting at Palm Beach (America’s International Fine Art & Antique Fair) Friday, 1 February, to Sunday, 10 February. The Vernissage Evening for the benefit of Mosaic will be held on Thursday, 31 January (for details call 561 209 1300 or visit www.ifae.com). The show is held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, 650 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Florida.

The European Fine Art Fair held at Maastricht in Holland from Friday, 7 March, to Sunday, 16 March. A Private Preview of the show will be held on Thursday, 6 March (for details call 0031 411 64 50 90 or visit www.tefaf.com). The show is held at the MECC, (Maastricht Exhibition & Congress Centre), Forum 100, 6229 GV Maastricht.

We then return to New York in October for The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show, at which we have exhibited since its inception in 1989; again it is held at The Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street, New York City. The show runs from Friday, 17 October, until Thursday, 23 October. A Gala Benefit Evening for the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center will be held on Thursday, 16 October (for details phone + 44 (0)20 7389 6555 or visit www.haughton.com)

Please do remember to carry photo ID when visiting the shows in New York as it is required for entrance to the Seventh Regiment Armory.


Peter Finer 2007  
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