Johann Michael Maucher (1645-1701) was one of the most famous South German carvers and gunstockers of the seventeenth Century. He was born into a family of wood, ivory and amber carvers in Schwbisch-Gmnd and worked there until 1688. He moved to Augsburg, then to Wrzburg in about 1693, where he remained until his death.
Maucher is known to have made objects of all kinds in ivory, wood and stone, including figures and several large ewers and basins. Like his firearms such objects were intended for the Kunstkammer, as objects for display, rather than for use. He is reported to have presented a richly decorated gun to the Emperor Leopold I in 1688. A still life of 1698-9 by the Dutch artist Dirk Valkenburg in the collections of the Princes of Liechtenstein at Vaduz includes a Maucher rifle which belonged to Prince Adam Andreas von Liechtenstein (1657-1712): the rifle remains to-day in the Princely collections (inv. no. 859). About thirty firearms by Maucher have survived, mostly rifles, but only some of them are signed. Most of them are now in public collections, the largest group being in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich.
A signed rifle from the Armoury of the Princes zu Salm-Reifferscheidt-Dyck, Schlo Dyck, now in a public collection, was sold in these Rooms, 15 April 1992, lot 169 (137,500, the world auction record for a European antique firearm).
For further information on Maucher, see W. Klein, Johann Michael und Christoph Maucher, Schwbisch-Gmnd, 1920: 'Die Elfenbeinschnitzer-Familie Maucher von Scwb. Gmnd', Gmnder Heimatbltter, Schwbisch-Gmnd, no. 10, October 1933, pp. 137-167, and no. 12, December 1933, pp. 185-195; A. Ehmer, Die Maucher, Schwbisch-Gmnd, 1992.