Antique rifle 'gifts to the princes of the House of Habsburg' auction in Italy



2015-06-26 12:33:29

Antique rifle 'gifts to the princes of the House of Habsburg' auction in Italy

With a joint five figure estimate, these 17th century rifles were crafted by a great Austrian artist...

Paul Fraser Collectibles,Wednesday14 September 2011

[ This gem is among the highlights of Czerny's upcoming Fine Antique Arms & Armour, Orders and Militaria auction on Sunday October 9.

Based in Sarzana, Italy - with online bidding also available - the auction will be offering this beautiful pair of small wheel-lock rifles from "an Imperial Austrian Family."

Dated to the second quarter of the 17th Century, each gun has a 10 mm calibre barrel with adjustable rare-sight, foresight and an engraved band reading "AM".

According to Czerny's condition report, one of the rifles has been restored.

The guns' brass wheel-covers are engraved and pierced with two lions; while their stocks are sculpted with the fine, typical motifs of "Meister der Tierkopfranke", the famous Austrian artist who lived between 1620-1660.

 The guns are dated to the second quarter of the 17th Century

The artist's guns were typically decorated with depictions of hares and other fantastic animals on a granulated background - all of which are evident hear, alongside an Austrian Imperial eagle with laurel crown.

These iron triggered rifles also have bone-tipped wooden ramrods and an "exceptional pair of wheel-lock rifles," all marked with Meister der Tierkopfranke's handy work (his name translates as "master of the animal-head scroll").

The small size (each 72.5cm long) of the weapons suggests that the beautiful pair may once have been a gift to one of the princes of the House of Habsburg, say Czerny's experts.

One thing's for sure, these weapons haven't been given an 60,000-80,000 estimate for nothing, and will be sure to draw saleroom and internet bidders alike in Czerny's auction.

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