Double-Barreled Wheellock Pistol of Emperor Charles V, ca. 1540–45
Made by Peter Peck (1500/10–1596)
Steel, etched and gilded; wood, inlaid with engraved staghorn
L. 19 3/8 in. (49.2 cm)
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913 (14.25.1425)
This early multishot wheellock pistol is the work of Peter Peck, a maker of watches and guns. Two locks are combined in one mechanism, providing the barrels with separate ignition. Made for Emperor Charles V (r. 1519–56), the pistol is decorated with his dynastic and personal emblems: the double-headed imperial eagle and the pillars of Hercules with the Latin motto “Plus ultra” (More beyond).