Abstract: Liége-Made Sport and Hunting Guns and Their Decoration, 17th-18th Centuries

Marion M. A. Huibrechts


My paper examines the correlation between high-quality, hand-made manufacturing of sporting and hunting guns during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the important evolution in ornamental design of the final product. The technical development of arms has been studied by some authors, while the research on types of decoration is very limited. Some introductory remarks on the Liège arms manufacturing industry are necessary for the understanding of the surrounding economic circumstances. Questions on who the suppliers and the buyers were and the way this type of gun was ordered will be answered. Printed source material on the subject is scarce. I will therefore concentrate on artifact sources such as pattern books and illustrations of the guns and pistols throughout the examined period. I have retained one important conclusion from the research for this paper. The making of sporting and hunting guns is an art form. The organizational structure of the industry and the distribution of sporting and hunting guns is a business.