A Very Rare German Or Bohemian Toy Rifle
Lot 454*
A Very Rare German Or Bohemian Toy Rifle
Sold for £3,360 (US$ 5,647) inc. premium
Lot Details
A Very Rare German Or Bohemian Toy Rifle
Circa 1700
With slightly swamped octagonal brass barrel rifled with four grooves, struck at the breech with the letter 'B', and with silver back- and fore-sights, plain tang, shaped fruitwood full stock (minor split) partially decorated with double line borders, pierced butt set with three turned horn roundels, engraved shaped brass side-plates, the right-hand one incorporating the pan and sprung pan-cover, the latter shaped as a match-holder, brass-mounted iron trunnions, and brass fore-end cap: on box-shaped fruitwood stand (drawer missing) surmounted by two longitudinal strips each decorated with double line borders, a horn plaque between two brass knobs, and a turned horn roundel at each end, the front scrolled brackets slotted for the trunnions, similar decorative scrolls at front and rear and with long base with moulded edges, each side set with two small turned ebony roundels framing an eccentrically turned horn disc on the left-hand side, the one on the right a plain replacement, fruitwood elevating quoin with turned knob working between the gun-supporting strips, and brass spring-loaded eyelets retaining an iron- and brass-mounted ramrod and worm, each with turned horn knob
27.9 cm.


  • Provenance:
    Fürst Thun Hohenstein, Schloss Tetschen, Northern Bohemia
    Dorotheum, Vienna, Kunstauktion, 24-26 October 1933, lot 140 (illustrated)
    Arthur Norris Kennard, former Deputy Master of the Royal Armouries, H.M. Tower of London
    Christie's London, Fine Antique Arms and Armour including the A.N. Kennard Collection, 27 March 1996, lot 80

    One of a pair, the other, in the Art Institute Chicago (George F. Harding Collection, inv. no. 557), identical except that the barrel is struck 'A' and that it retains its ammunition drawer in the base. The Chicago gun is known to have been owned by the Counts Thun-Tetschen, and must have come from one of the sales of contents of Schloss Tetschen in the 1930s. A pair of similar guns, clearly by the same maker, is now divided between the Liechtenstein Collection in Schloss Vaduz and the Metropolitan Museum, New York (inv. no. 26.261.4)
Lot symbols