An Elegant and Rare Pair of Saxon Wheel-lock Pistols dated 1610
Made for the Bodyguard of Elector Christian II, the breeches bearing the initials of Georg Gessler, enclosing his poincon (Stockel #432), the domed gilt brass wheel covers engraved with birds within a foliate scroll surround, the stocks initialed FF, and with the arms of Saxony and the Deutsches Ritter Order, the fruitwood stocks inlaid with engraved horn plaques opposite the locks, depicting snails and sea monsters, horn ramrod ends and pipes and fore-end caps, the fore-stocks inlaid with roundels of mother-o’-pearl, and with fluted pear shaped pommels bound in silver gilt.
Christian II of Saxony became Elector and honorary Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1591 at the age of 8, ruled 1601-1611. He is known to have added to the arms collection of the Electoral Guard which contained two hundred elite troops, divided into companies of cavalry, musketeers and halberdiers, all beautifully uniformed and equipped.
The stock maker’s initials FF (Stockel C2478) appear on examples in the Musee de l’Armee, Paris, and in the Tojhusmuseet, Copenhagen.
Barrels: 18 5/8” 47.3 cm .58 cal.
O. A.: 29 1/2” 75 cm
Provenance: The Royal Gewehrkammer, Dresden
The Dr. Dagobert D. Runes Collection, New York City
Dispersed the 25th of March 1965, Sotheby’s, London
Condition: Except for minor handling marks acquired over the last 400 + years they are superb