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Wheellock Rifle

A work made of steel, staghorn, cherry wood, beech wood, gilt brass, copper, and enamel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of steel, staghorn, cherry wood, beech wood, gilt brass, copper, and enamel.

Date:

c. 1670

Artist:

Elias Becker (German, Augsburg active 1633-1673)
Augsburg, Germany

About this artwork

This rifle’s eccentric design conveys a certain tension between rough and refined, natural and artificial, and—metaphorically—hunter versus hunted. Its antler-like stock is veneered with plaques of natural staghorn, sawn, cut, and shaped to the contours of a traditional German rifle. In extreme contrast, the stock’s cheek rest is mounted with a painted enamel depicting the Roman goddess of the hunt, Diana. Five similar rifles were produced for several dukes of Saxony and the king of Denmark, but this is the only one signed by the creative stock maker, Elias Becker, best known for his highly ornamental work; this austere yet inventive design is a surprising part of his oeuvre.

Status

On View, Gallery 239

Department

Applied Arts of Europe

Title

Wheellock Rifle

Place

Augsburg (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1665–1675

Medium

Steel, staghorn, cherry wood, beech wood, gilt brass, copper, and enamel

Inscriptions

Marked: EB (on stock)

Dimensions

W.: 105.5 cm (41 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior acquisition of the George F. Harding Collection

Reference Number

2023.1324

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/267440/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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