Object Title

Flintlock sporting gun - by Jean Conrad Tornier

Flintlock sporting gun - by Jean Conrad Tornier

Date

1646

Object Number

XII.1549

Provenance

Purchased from the National Magazine Co. (W R Hearst collection) October 1952, with the help of the Pilgrim Trust, National Art Collections Fund and a special Exchequer Grant. This is one of 52 items purchased together. (Hearst Inv. no. A165). Sold at Sotheby's 2 July 1936, the property of a Viennese collector, described in the sale catalogue as Dutch. (probably Schedlemann)

Physical Description

Fitted with a flat lock with a ring-necked cock, ahead of which is stamped a mark - within a shield the initials FK above two stars above a flower. The stock has a deep bellied butt inlaid in plain and yellow and green-stained stag-horn with intricate designs of bunches of fruit and flowers interspersed with birds, animals and hunting scenes. Scrolling lines of stag-horn fill the areas between the decoration and act as terminals to blossoms and leaves. Pierced steel trigger-guard and plain brass butt-plate. Around the tang of the barrel is a brass plate pierced with foliate scrolls. The forward rammer pipe is restoration. The octagonal barrel is long and slender and is engraved I.S., probably the intials of the barrel maker. The barrel is also struck with the date 1646. The sights are of brass,

Techniques

Forged, Carved

Materials

Dimensions

BarrelLength44in.
BarrelLength1118mm
OverallLength60.8in.
OverallLength1545mm
OverallWeight2.86kg

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number none

Calibre

78 bore

Inscriptions and Marks

Maker's mark
I.S.
barrel
stamp
Maker's mark
Within a shield the initials FK above two stars above a flower
lock plate
stamp

Bibliographic References

M Levkoff (ed), Hearst the collector, Los Angeles Museum of Art, 2008: 165-6, no. 27

Notes

The richly decorated stock of this gun was made by Jean Conrad Tornier of Masevaux, one of a number of sixteenth and seventeenth century gun stockers who are known to have made small articles of furniture which could be decorated in the same manner as gun stocks. The stock is unsigned, but the decoration is undoubtedly by the same hand as that on a wooden casket in the Wallace Collection, London (Cat. No. A.1345), which is signed "FAIT EN MASSEVAUX PAR JEAN CONRAD TORNIER MONSTEUR D'HARQUEBISSES L'EN 1630" (made in Masevaux by Jean Conrad Tornier, gun stocker in the year 1630.) Following analysis it was found that there were traces of antler, bone and horn.
Three other firearms stocked by Tornier have also been identified, all decorated, like this example, with intricate inlaid designs based on the engraved ornament of Michel le Bon who was working in Amsterdam from about 1610, and whose designs seem to have been used mainly by gunmakers working in the Low Countries and Northern France.
Masevaux (German: Massmunster), the town in which Tornier worked, is approximately 11 miles from Belfort, in that part of Alsace which was transferred from Germany to France by the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.
The lock of this gun bears the mark of Franz Kruter of Solothurn, Switzerland, who is known to be working in the 1640s.