The articles are of archaeological, historical and museological interest and are mainly related to the region of Banat, although some deal with Romanian and universal history as well
Jan. 1, 2013
Currently, the gun collection of the Banat Museum in Timişoara holds 16 items that can be classified as hunting
rifles, all of them being inventoried in the registers of the History Department.
Chronologically speaking, the hunting rifles held by the museum’s collection can be dated between the 18th
century and the late 19th century. e most ancient piece is a flintlock rifle dating from the second half of the 18th
century, followed by six percussion guns built during the first half of the 19th century. e museum’s collection
holds a Berenger system hunting rifle, a Flobert type weapon and a Tabatiére system gun – exhibits that can be
dated from the second half of the 19th century. A Hammerless double-barreled shotgun comes from the second half
of the 19th century. Also, the collection contains three sporting rifles dated from the first half of the 19th century
and two compressed air guns, one coming from the beginning of the 19th century and the other one dating from
the mid – 19th century.
Concerning the manufacturing workshop of these hunting rifles held by the museum’s collection from
Timişoara, it should be noted that only some of these pieces display various inscriptions or badges of the armourers.
More accurately, nine of the guns exhibit the names of the armourers and the manufacturing site inscribed on
the barrels or the mechanism. e name of the Viennese armourer Johann Fruwirth is displayed on two of the
guns. Both weapons are inscribed with the manufacturing site, the city of Vienna. e mechanism of the most
beautiful gun of the collection is inscribed with the name of the Vienese armourer Johann Baptist Strixner. One of
the sporting rifles was manufactured by Johann Peter from Weiskirchen. A double-barreled percussion gun comes
from St. Etienne. One of the two compressed air guns, held by the collection, was manufactured by G. Leute,
an armourer from Munich. Another weapon from the collection bears an inscription with the name of Johann
Peterlongo, the founder of the “Tiroler Waffenfabrik” factory from Innsbruck. e Tabatiére gun – the commercial
version – was manufactured in Liege, Belgium. e last detected workshop belongs to G. Teschner from Frankfurt,
which produced the Hammerless gun. In conclusion, we may assert that the vast majority of the hunting rifles
identified in the collection of the Banat Museum were manufactured in the Central European workshops.
As to the ornaments and embellishments displayed by the collection from Timișoara, it should be mentioned
the fact that the most beautiful exhibits are the guns dating from the first half of the 19th century. Two of them,
manufactured by the Vienese armourers Johann Fruwirth and J.B. Strixner, bear highly rich embellishment
displayed on the barrels and mechanism as well as on the wooden part of the weapon. Both exhibits are engraved
with floral and vegetal motifs, carved with stylized vegetal and zoomorphic motifs, inlaid with multiple pearl and
brass elements. e other guns from the collection are less decorated, most of them bearing engravings, grooves
As regards the history of the hunting rifles up until now we know the origin of only six of the 16 items
submitted in the present article. ree of the six weapons mentioned above became part of the collection during
the pre-war period, one of the guns was donated during the first half of the 20th century, while the last two were
also donated during the 7th and the 8th decades of the last century.
As a conclusion, we acknowledge the fact that the present hunting rifle collection represents a very interesting
set, due to the diversity of the existing models but also to some of the exhibits’ rarity, among the Romanian
borders, as the example of the Girardoni compressed air gun.