Gun (Petronel) thumbnail 1
Gun (Petronel) thumbnail 2
+1
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Medieval & Renaissance, Room 62, The Foyle Foundation Gallery

Gun (Petronel)

1550-1599 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

A petronel was a gun held with its curved butt-plate pressed against the chest to resist recoil. With its heavy stock and long barrel it required a gun-rest for accuracy. Firearms were not universally welcomed as hunting weapons as it was feared the traditional skills of close pursuit might be lost.

Match lock petronels of this type were produced in quantity in Western Europe and in the absence of internal evidence, it is difficult to attribute one to a particular region. The barrels very often bear the mark of the Thuringian town of Suhl. Petronels of this type with strongly hooked butts are shown in woodcuts by Jöst Amman of Nürnberg and his contemporaries. The tentative French attribution is based on the similarity of the inlay work to that of French wheel lock pistols of the period.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Walnut inlaid with antler, chiselled steel
Brief Description
Matchlock rifle or petronel, with a walnut stock elaborately decorated with staghorn inlay, possibly French, 1550-1599
Physical Description
Walnut stock, profusely inlaid with hunting scenes and with monkeys and, on the inner side of the curved butt, with Hercules overcoming the Nemean Lion. The ground is filled with foliate scrolls of engraved antler, some of the leaves stained green. The barrel, of octagonal section throughout, has a brass V backsight and blade foresight. At the breech is stamped a barrel-smith's mark, a star within a shaped shield. The match lock of conventional construction, with some traces of gilding on the plate.
Dimensions
  • Height: 25.2cm
  • Width: 118cm
  • Depth: 7.8cm
  • Weight: 5.14kg
Measured for the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries
Marks and Inscriptions
Stamped mark on the breech comprising a star within a shaped shield (A barrelsmith's mark (unidentified).)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Major Victor Alexander Farquharson
Object history
Acquired by the Museum from the Major Victor Farquharson Bequest
Historical context
A petronel was a gun held with its curved butt-plate pressed against the chest to resist recoil. With its heavy stock and long barrel it required a gun-rest for accuracy. Firearms were not universally welcomed as hunting weapons as it was feared the traditional skills of close pursuit might be lost.



Match lock petronels of this type were produced in quantity in Western Europre and in the absence of internal evidence, it is difficult to attribute one to a particular region. The barrels very often bear the mark of the Thuringian town of Suhl. Petronels of this type with strongly hooked butts are shown in woodcuts by Jöst Amman of Nürnberg and his contemporaries. The tentative French attribution is based on the similarity of the inlay work to that of French wheel lock pistols of the period.
Summary
A petronel was a gun held with its curved butt-plate pressed against the chest to resist recoil. With its heavy stock and long barrel it required a gun-rest for accuracy. Firearms were not universally welcomed as hunting weapons as it was feared the traditional skills of close pursuit might be lost.



Match lock petronels of this type were produced in quantity in Western Europe and in the absence of internal evidence, it is difficult to attribute one to a particular region. The barrels very often bear the mark of the Thuringian town of Suhl. Petronels of this type with strongly hooked butts are shown in woodcuts by Jöst Amman of Nürnberg and his contemporaries. The tentative French attribution is based on the similarity of the inlay work to that of French wheel lock pistols of the period.
Bibliographic Reference
Hayward, J. F., European Firearms. London : HMSO, 1969, cat. 4
Collection
Accession Number
M.485-1927

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdMarch 8, 2004
Record URL