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    Sale 5426

    Antique Arms & Armour

    21 May 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 156

    A VERY FINE GERMAN FLINTLOCK FOWLING-PIECE, SILVER-MOUNTED, UNSIGNED BUT IN THE MANNER OF JOHANN CHRISTOPH STOCKMAR OF HEIDERSBACH NEAR SUHL, KURFÜRSTLICHER HOFGRAVEUR TO THE ELECTORS OF SAXONY

    CIRCA 1750-60

    Price Realised  

    A VERY FINE GERMAN FLINTLOCK FOWLING-PIECE, SILVER-MOUNTED, UNSIGNED BUT IN THE MANNER OF JOHANN CHRISTOPH STOCKMAR OF HEIDERSBACH NEAR SUHL, KURFÜRSTLICHER HOFGRAVEUR TO THE ELECTORS OF SAXONY
    CIRCA 1750-60
    With slender barrel of bright steel tapering to a swamped muzzle, formed with a narrow flat with silver sight, the breech and tang decorated with panels of rococo shells and scrolls developing to a larger panel filled with a woodland scene centering on a young noblewoman and her gamedog, her detailed hunting dress picked-out in gold, a swagged trophy of shot gamebirds above, all finely chiselled in low relief on a gilt punched 'fishrow' ground, and struck with the barrel forger's mark 'FG' on the underside (Neue Støckel 2480), rounded burnished lock chiselled and gilt en suite, decorated with a further woodland sporting vignette involving a nobleman and the steel cut with an elaborate winged demon mask, figured walnut full stock profusely decorated througout, with complex scrolling designs of Parisian rococo palm and acanthus foliage finely carved in low relief over the rear half, involving a scrolling dragon on the butt, the carved designs characteristically heightened with minute silver nails, inlaid with silver wire scrollwork and small silver relief plaques en rocailles over its entire length, the butt inlaid on one side with an expanded flowerhead in silver wire and set with a red paste at the centre, raised cheekpiece inset with a silver fluted star cast in low relief and filled with a trio of deer, stamped 'No.1' in miniscules, with a small carved mother-of-pearl bust of a lady (as Diana) inset behind the ramrod-pipe, and the whole stock sewn with a characteristic contrasting pattern of small black and pale horn pellets, full silver mounts finely cast in low relief, the butt-plate, side-plate and trigger-guard each decorated with further hunting vignettes en-suite with the breech and the lock, the butt-plate and the trigger-guard decorated with falconry scenes involving a noblewoman and nobleman respectively, vacant elaborate silver escutcheon, horn forre-end cap, original horn-tipped ramrod, and preserved in fine condition throughout (very small pieces of wire inlay missing, the stock with small light bruises).
    39¼in (99.7cm) barrel


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    The principal figures found within the decorated steel and silver elements of this gun are possibly representations of Duke Ernst August II and his wife, the celebrated Anna Amelia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, whom he married in 1756.

    The carved designs on the stock compare closely with a plate signed De La Collombe included in the series of plates published by Claude Simonin in 1705, and a further edition in 1730.

    The barrel forger's mark 'FG' is also found on the barrel of a gun of the Suhl school in the Wallace Collection (A1119), made for either of the Dukes Ernst August of Saxe-Weimar.

    For a detailed account of firearms of the Suhl school and in particular of those attributed to the Stockmar family, see The Wallace Collection Catalogues, European Arms and Armour vol.II, 1962 and Supplement, 1986.

    Also see H.L Blackmore, Royal Sporting Guns at Windsor, London 1968, L423, plates 26,27,51 and 52

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    The gunroom of the Grand Dukes of Saxe-Weimar at Schloss Ettersburg; almost certainly made for Ernst August II Konstantine (1737-1758).

    Included as lot 55 in the dispersal sale of the Ettersburg gunroom (illustrated), Fischer and Kahlert, Luzern, 2 August 1927.

    To Major Th. Jakobsson, Stockholm.

    Sold Sotheby & Co., May 10, 1932, lot 12.

    Annonymous sale, Christie's Rare and Historic Firearms, New York, October 7, 1981, lot 34.