Object Title

Wheellock muzzle loader holster pistol - By Zacharias Herold

Wheellock muzzle loader holster pistol - By Zacharias Herold


about 1590-1595

Object Number



From the Norton Hall Collection. Presented by the National Art-Collections Fund, 1942. Formally in the collection of Beriah Botfield (1807 - 1863) at Norton Hall, Northamptonshire. This collection would appear to have been formed in the 1840's. Norton Hall was acquired by Beriah Botfield's grandfather (who died in 1801), Thomas Botfield acquired it from the descendants of Nicholas Breton. Beriah Botfield restored Norton Hall to its former glories. The collection was finally purchased, with the aid of the National Art-Collections Fund, for the nation from Lady Beatrice Thynne on the occasion of her death in 1942. The full sum paid for the collection would appear to have been £2,650. The purchase was negotiated with Lady Weymouth who was acting as attorney for Lord Weymouth (who was away on active service), who was tenant-for-life of the property (the collection had been settled on Lord Weymouth for life).

Physical Description

The locks have gilt-brass wheel cases engraved with foliage, while the dog-heads retain their original pyrites stone in their lead wrappings,and these have been engraved with a chevron pattern. A pivoted safety-catch is fitted. The barrels have octagonal breeches which have the makers mark (Zacharias Herold of Dresden) and they have long 'V' flutes where the barrels change from octagonal to round section. The stocks are ball-butted with blackened surfaces covered with raised dots and inlaid with mythical creatures in staghorn. The butts are inlaid with silver collars engraved with scrollwork.


Inlaid, Engraved


BarrelLength15.2 in.
BarrelLength387 mm
OverallLength24.5 in.
OverallLength623 mm


Serial Number None visible


.510 in

Inscriptions and Marks

Under stock
Maker's mark
coat of arms
Saxony coat of arms
Ball butt of stock

Bibliographic References

Graeme Rimer, Wheellock Firearms of the Royal Armouries, Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, 2001. p.23, colour ill.