Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 359: Ornate Wheellock Sporting Rifle

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Ornate Engraved and Inlaid Small Caliber (Tschinke) Wheellock Sporting Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $6,500 - $9,000

Ornate Engraved and Inlaid Small Caliber (Tschinke) Wheellock Sporting Rifle

Manufacturer: Unknown
Model: Wheel Lock
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 32
Barrel: 33 1/8 inch octagon
Finish: blue/bright/gold
Stock: hardwood
Item Views: 818
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 216
Class: Antique

This rifle is similar to the example in the St. Louis Art Museum (object #73:1939) noted as "probably from the third quarter of the 17th century" in Cieszyn, Slaskie, Poland. "The name Tschinke derives from the city of Teschen (now Cieszyn in present-day Poland) where the rifles were produced. This light rifle for hunting birds and small game has a very distinctive form of wheel-lock ignition whose mechanism was mounted on the outside. The highly ornate decoration on this gun indicates that it was intended for a wealthy hunter." Like their example, this rifle has extensive staghorn and mother-of-peal inlays along the stock in primarily floral, fruit, and bestial patterns. The right side of the butt has a lion. The left stock flat has a small unicorn with over-sized horn and the left side of the butt has a classical figure and supporters. The swamped barrel has a small brass blade front sight, covered notch rear sight, and simple floral engraving. The latter repeat on the lock which has the distinctive external mainspring. The engraving has gilt highlights.

Rating Definition:

Fine with traces of original blue on the barrel, traces of gilt finish in the engraving, gray and brown patina on the balance, some minor oxidation/pitting, and general mild wear. The stock is also fine and has crisp details on the inlays, some flakes around the lock mortise, a few repairs mainly in the forend edges, and mild overall wear. The barrel is not secured in the forend. Lock not tested.

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