King Louis XIII’s Wheellock Gun for Auction 

The Rock Island Auction Company will offer an extraordinary and historic 400-year-old wheellock from King Louis XIII’s Cabinet d’Armes in its August Premier Auction. 

The exceptionally rare and historic wheellock sporting arm from the renowned Cabinet d’Armes of King Louis XIII will be up for auction during Rock Island Auction Company’s (RIAC) August Premier Auction, Friday, Aug. 23rd through Sunday, Aug. 25th. The firearm has a pre-auction estimate of $250,000 – $425,000.   

The Cabinet d’Armes of King Louis XIII is unparalleled in 17th-century firearms and beyond. Often hailed as the most important arms collection in history, it boasts an impressive array of hundreds of firearms collected by the king for their intricate ornamentation, technological advances, and those with previous royal or noble owners. The Victoria & Albert Museum credits the young French King as “the first real European gun collector,” underscoring the historical importance of this collection. 


The remarkable sporting arm is marked #24 on the underside of the stock and is one of the original inventoried firearms in the Cabinet d’Armes, dating back to the 1620s and the early years of King Louis XIII’s reign. The gun features a smoothbore barrel highly decorated with silver and gold damascened ornamentation and has intricately detailed figures likely representing the Horae: Eirene (Peace), Eunomia (Good Order) and Dike (Justice). The lock, which is signed “F.P.,” is attributed to the renowned Parisian gunmaker Francois Poumerol, who frequently crafted firearms presented to King Louis XIII. 


“We’ve had phenomenal opportunities to handle the finest collections and incredibly significant individual pieces, but this is in a class all its own. It is absolutely captivating,” says Kevin Hogan, President of Rock Island Auction Company. “In firearms terms, this is from antiquity. It is from the same era as the King James Bible and Rembrandt and has somehow avoided residence in a world-class museum. It’s an extraordinary opportunity for what we believe to be the finest long arm in private circulation.” 


King Louis XIII’s reign was marked by a revolutionary period in firearms technology, transitioning from matchlocks and wheellocks to the more advanced flintlocks. This striking example is a prime illustration of the artistry and technological advancements of the period, reflecting the royal patronage and craftsmanship of one of history’s most significant arms collections. 


This historic and extravagant wheellock is one of the many items that will be featured at RIAC’s August Premier Auction. Online, in-person and phone bidding will be available starting Friday, Aug. 23rd.  

For additional information on Rock Island Auction Company and other highlights of the August event, visit:

See also: Dreweatts Offers Studio Collection of Angela Conner

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