Object Title

Wheellock combination axe and pistol

Wheellock combination axe and pistol



Object Number



Purchased Saturday 2nd April 1825 from Mrs Brooks of Old Bond Street in the first part of the role of the collection 'Having been sent from a Noblemans castle in Bavaria',

Physical Description

The axe-head with long fluke is hollow and contains five barrels the muzzles concealed by a hinged cover forming the edge of the axe-blade. The topmost barrel is ignited by a matchlock fitted on the left side, the mechanism concealed by a brass plate in the form of a lion, the second by a wheellock the mechanism of which occupies most of the outer surface of the axe-head on the opposite side, the remaining three barrels by a hand held match as is also a sixth barrel forming the handle or haft. There is a tubular extension to the pan of the wheellock intended to hold a length of match which would be ignited by the flash of the priming and then wihdrawn to ignite the remaining barrels. On the left side is a belt or saddle-hook. Traces of blueing remain on parts of the wheel-lock mechanism





Axe headLength15 inhes
Axe headLength381 mm
OverallLength21.8 inhes
OverallLength554 mm
OverallWeight2.95 kg


Serial Number None visible


150 bore

Bibliographic References

A V B Norman and G M Wilson, Treasures from the Tower of London, Norwich, 1982: p. 99-100, no. 87 (illus.).

C Blair, European and American arms, London 1962, p.73.

Graeme Rimer, Wheellock Firearms of the Royal Armouries, Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, 2001. p.35, colour ill.

Dorling Kindersley, Weapon. A visual history of arms & armour, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London, 2006, p. 159 (col. illus., left and centre).

C. Paggiarino, The Royal Armouries, masterpieces of medieval and renaissance arms and armour, Milan, 2011 volume 2