Lot 1298: German - Wheellock
|Finely Engraved Small Bore Wheelock Rifle with Extensive Scrimshawed and Mother of Pearl Stock Inlays|
|Estimated Price: $30,000 - $50,000|
|Item Views||119||Bid Activity||Average|
|Barrel||27 1/4 Inch Octagon||Finish||Bright/gold||Grip|
|Description||One of the pearl inlays on the top of the butt has the initials "GK" suggesting this rifle was manufactured early in the career of George Kaiser in Austria in the 1660s. The swamped barrel has a blade front sight, notch rear sight with folding leaf, and light engraving patterns. A small "2" stamp was added behind the rear sight likely by a curator of a European collection. The cock also has engraving patterns including the face of a man on the lower jaw and a beast's face on the top jaw. The stock has extensive inlays with scrimshaw designs including dogs, rabbits, beasts, scrollwork, and floral motifs. The ramrod also has scrimshawed designs on the tip as well as bands of horn. The trigger guard is the style often found on German wheellocks and has three finger grooves. It is equipped with double set triggers. The small bore along with the sights, and set triggers suggest this rifle was used for target shooting. Wheellocks were very expensive, especially when elaborately adorned, suggesting this rifle would have been owned by a member of court and perhaps even royalty. Many of the princes of the Holy Roman Empire had extensive arms collections.
|Condition||Fine. The metal surfaces have gray and brown patina and some slight corrosion. The barrel has several shallow dents on top and traces of what appear to silver. The rear sight, top of the lock, and trigger plate have traces of gold wash. The stock is also fine and has various light dings and marks from handling and storage, some very small chips, and a hairline crack extending from the tail of the lock to the patch box compartment. The forend is bowing away from the muzzle. The lock has not been tested but appears to be functional, and the set triggers function very well. The forward lock plate screw is absent. Some of the engraving patterns, especially on the lock plate, are faint.|
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