Museum of the City of New York, Amsterdam-New Amsterdam Exhibit
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Pair of Dutch wheellock pistosl, 1640-1650
Steel, ebony, ivory, silver-gilt
Lent to the MCNY from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Giovanni P. Morosini Collectoin, presented by his daughter Giulia P. Morosini, 1932
This pair of pistols would have been carried by a high ranking officer, even an aristocrat. The term wheellock refers to their mechanism, a rotating wheel that provides ignition. Developed around 1500, the wheellock was an advance over the matchlock firearm, which required manual lighting with fire to ignite. It was eventually superseded by the flintlock, developed around 1600.