Fine Austrian/German Wheellock Rifle, Late 17th C

SKU: FR1688 Categories: ,


Featuring 32″ octagonal barrel of approximately .58 caliber with swamped muzzle, the
breech finely engraved with maker’s name “BALTHASAR ZELLER” with deeply stamped
laten-filled maker’s mark. Muzzle and breech engraved with scrolling foliage; decorative
rear leaf sight and dovetailed brass front blade sight. Flat lockplate with internal wheel and
sliding pan cover, beautifully engraved with mounted knight attacking a dragon; wheel
cover with foliage and dragon heads; cock chiseled and engraved in the form of a mythical
beast and maker’s initials “BZ” engraved in script. Walnut full stock with relief carved
scrolling foliage and multi-piece contrasting color horn mounts, including fore end cap,
ramrod thimbles, sliding patch box cover, butt cap, and miscellaneous inlays. Brass side
plate engraved with acanthus decoration, large brass trigger guard with finger indents; set
trigger. There is even an original spanner in the patch box. Original steel and horn-tipped
wood ramrod. Exceptional quality throughout with minor old restorations to the wood and a
few tight cracks. Overall length 44″. Stockel lists maker Balthasar Zellner (not Zeller) in
Salzburg ca. 1703-1754, son of Johann Balthasar Zellner, ca. 1659-1730. Johann
Balthasar Zellner also used the intials “BZ”. The letters “BZ are also found on a Saxon
wheellock rifle, ca. 1647. The Zellner family was active in the Wallersee/Salzburg area
from the late 16th C until the mid 18th C and spelled their family name in various ways.