A Silesian Wheellock Birding Rifle, or Tschinke, c. 1650 - 80

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Item ref: 3984

  • Poland or The Czech Republic, probably Teschen (today Cieszynka/Teˇšin)
  • Steel, copper alloy, gold, fruitwood, abalone shell (mother-of-pearl), horn and stained horn


Private collection, France

Whether for its specialist sporting application or the likely alure of the exoticism of its profusely inlaid slender stock, the idiosyncratic Tschinke enjoyed widespread popularity within the middle decades of the 17th century, the highpoint of their aesthetic development. Examples closely related to the present rifle are today preserved in the foremost national museum collections, having been dispersed from great gunrooms such as those of John Sobieski, King of Poland, the Princes Radziwill and the former Polish, Bohemian and Moravian duchies. Still others remain in the prestigious surviving historic collections of firearms scattered throughout the former Saxon and Habsburg lands and beyond, these include the former Imperial collection in Vienna, the armoury of the Princes von und zu Liechtenstein, the Swedish Royal Collections, and the Baden Duchies, the latter now combined in the Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe.