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ARMS AND ARMOUR FROM THE COURT OF THE ELECTORS OF SAXONY 1580 ~1625


Peter Finer are pleased to offer for sale a group of arms and armour, now on exhibition in the shop at 38/39 Duke Street, St James’s, which originates from the armouries of the Electors of Saxony, who ruled significant lands in present-day Germany for over nine-hundred and fifty years and whose power was second only to the Holy Roman Emperor’s. The Prince Electors of Saxony, of the Ducal House of Wettin, assembled one of the finest historical collections of arms and armour between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries and a portion of that arsenal today forms the core of the Rüstkammer (Armoury) of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen (State Art Collections), Dresden. The royal arsenal contained both personal weapons of the Electors and the equipment for their guard; the Electors in the sixteenth century took exceptional pride in the turnout of their bodyguard and their armament must have been extraordinary, even in an era when displays of military splendor were, along with the chase, one of the main diversions of Princes. Four dispersals of arms and armour from the Historisches Museum in Dresden, born of the Saxon Electorate armouries and today the Rüstkammer, took place between 1832 and 1927; it was in these scatterings that most of the objects in this catalogue left the collection. The arms and armour preserved in the Historisches Museum, including the pieces here, is astonishing amongst that in the hereditary armouries of Europe for its luxury, but foremost for its remarkable state of conservation. While many of the royal armouries were allowed to rust away in the last few centuries, the assemblage in Dresden was always carefully looked after - the arms and armour there, if scarred by their working-life, not by time.


1586 – 1591 Christian I, Elector of Saxony

~

1591 – 1601 Friedrich Wilhelm I, Duke of Saxe-Weimar and Co-regent of the Electorate of Saxony

1591 – 1611 Christian II, Elector of Saxony

~ 1611 – 1656 Johann Georg I, Elector of Saxony


Table of Content 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Morion for the Guard of the Prince Elector of Saxony, c. 1580 Silver-Mounted Estoc, c. 1580-90 Left-hand Dagger, c. 1590 Large Wheel-lock 'Puffer' Pistol, c. 1585 Buffe made for Elector Christian I by Anton Peffenhauser, c. 1586 Wheel-lock Gun for the Guard of Christian I, dated 1589 A Bandolier for a Musketeer of the Guard of the Prince Elector of Saxony, c. 1590 A Powder-flask for a Musketeer of the Guard of Elector Christian I, and Friedrich Wilhelm I, c. 1590 Pair of Wheel-lock Pistols bearing the Arms of Friedrich Wilhelm I, stamped with the maker’s mark of Christoph Dressler, and dated 1596 Wheel-lock Pistol made for a Young Noble of the Saxon Court, c. 1600 Pair of Wheel-lock Pistols made for the Guard of Christian II, by Hans Stockmann, c. 1610 Powder-flask and Bullet-pouch for a Musketeer of the Guard of Christian II and Johann Georg I, Electors of Saxony, c. 1600-1625


1. A Morion for the Guard of the Prince Elector of Saxony, c. 1580

Nuremberg. Steel, brass, gold and leather. 38 cm x 24.5 cm

Provenance: ďƒ— The armouries of the Prince Electors of Saxony, Dresden. ďƒ— Removed from the armouries either following the First World War, or during the period of dispersals to the Dresden Opera.


2. A Silver-Mounted Estoc, c. 1580-90

Dresden. Steel, silver and wood. 114 cm Provenance:  The armouries of the Prince Electors of Saxony, Dresden.  The Historisches Museum, Dresden  American Art Association, New York, 24 November 1928, lot 278.  Stephen V. Grancsay, New York.  Private collection, USA.  The private collection of the former chairman of The Royal Armouries.


Exhibited:  Loan Exhibition of Arms and Armor, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1931, cat. no. 172.  Arms and Armor, The Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA, 1964, cat. no. 107.  Exhibition of Arms & Armour and Associated Works of Art, Howard Ricketts Ltd, London, 1973, cat. no. 10.


3. A Dagger for the Left Hand, c. 1590

Dresden. Steel, silver and wood. 42 cm

Provenance: ďƒ— The Saxon Electoral armouries, Dresden. Probably one of the daggers of this type included in the dispersal sale from the former electoral armouries, held by Rudolph Lepke of Berlin, 8 October 1919. ďƒ— The private collection of the former chairman of The Royal Armouries.


4.

A Large Wheel-lock 'Puffer' Pistol, c. 1585

Dresden. Wood, staghorn, steel, brass and gold. 62 cm. Provenance: ďƒ— The armouries of the Prince Electors of Saxony, Dresden. ďƒ— The private collection of the former chairman of The Royal Armouries.


5.

A Buffe, or reinforce for a helmet, belonging to a garniture of armour made for the Elector Christian I, by Anton Peffenhauser, c. 1586

Augsburg. Steel and gold 26 cm x 23 cm

Provenance: ďƒ— The armouries of the Prince Electors of Saxony, Dresden. ďƒ— Transferred to the Historisches Museum, Dresden, circa 1832.


6.

A Wheel-lock gun for the Guard of Elector Christian I, dated 1589

Dresden. Wood, staghorn, steel and gold. 136.5 cm Provenance:  The armouries of the Prince Electors of Saxony, Dresden.  An official dispersal sale from the armouries. Related works:  Six carbines of this type remain in Dresden; in common with the majority of arms of this provenance they are preserved in an untouched condition, as is the present example. (cont.)


ďƒ— A further example, also dated 1589, also dispersed from Dresden, and nearlyidentical to the present carbine is preserved in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.


7. A Bandolier for a Musketeer of the Guard of the Prince Elector of Saxony, c. 1590

Probably Dresden, leather, silk, brass, lead and gold. 126 cm.


Provenance:  The armouries of the Prince Electors of Saxony, Dresden.  Joe Kindig, Jr.  Raymond Petry  H.L. Visser, Sotheby & Co., London, 3rd July 1970, lot 5

Literature:  John S. DuMont, ‘Jo Kindig, Jr., Master of Antiquities,’ Antique Arms Annual, Texan Gun Collectors’ Association, 1971, p. 152


8. A Powder-flask for a Musketeer of the Guard of Elector Christian I, and Friedrich Wilhelm I, c. 1590

Dresden. Wood, gold, copper, silk 26.5 cm Provenance: ďƒ— The armouries of Prince Electors of Saxony, Dresden. Related works: ďƒ— Five examples of similar powder-flasks exist in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden, inv. nos. X 851, X 852, X 856, X 857 and X 876)

(following page: detail, showing the Saxon coat of Arms)


9. A pair of wheel-lock pistols bearing the arms of Friedrich Wilhelm I, stamped with the maker’s mark of Christoph Dressler, dated 1596

Dresden. Wood, staghorn, steel, brass, gold and silver. 63.5 cm

Provenance:  The armoury at Schloss Hartenfels, Torgau, princely residence of the Electors of Saxony and governing seat of Friedrich Wilhelm I, Duke of Saxe-Weimar (1562–1602)  Private Collection, Germany


10. A Wheel-lock pistol for a young noble of the Saxon Court, c. 1600

Dresden. Wood, stag horn, steel and gold. 33 cm


Provenance:  The armouries of the Prince Electors of Saxony, Dresden.  Sotheby & Co., London, The Antique

Firearms Collection of Arthur G. Cummer, Michigan (1873-1943), part IV, 12th October 1970, lot 77, sold for the sum of £ 7,500. Literature: Peter Hawkins, Antique Guns & Pistols, Woodbridge, 1973, p. 14. Reference is made to the exceptional quality and fine condition of the pistol and to the price for which it sold in 1970, an exceptional sum at that time.


11. A Pair of Wheel-lock Pistols made for the Guard of Christian II, by Hans Stockmann, c. 1610

Dresden. Wood, staghorn, steel. 75 cm


Provenance:  The armouries of the Prince Electors of Saxony, Dresden.  Stephen V. Grancsay Collection. Exhibited:  The Brooklyn Museum, 1933, cat. no. 200  The Allentown Museum, Arms and Armour: The

Collection of Stephen V. Grancsay, with Important Contributions by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the John Woodman Higgins Armory, Worcester, Massachusetts, March 15-June 14, 1964, cat no. 154.


12. A Powder-flask and Bullet-pouch for a Musketeer of the Guard of Christian II, and Johann Georg I, Prince Electors of Saxony, c. 1600 - 1625

Dresden. Wood, steel and leather. 19.5 cm Provenance: ďƒ— The armouries of the Prince Electors of Saxony, Dresden. Related works: ďƒ— Two powder-flasks of this type remain in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden, inv nos. X 816 and 818; a single example, also identical, is in the Wallace Collection, no. A1284.


Arms and Armour from the Court of the Electors of Saxony 1580-1625  
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