Among the star lots at the May 16 auction of European Works of Art is a pair of exquisite flintlock muskets.
The 3ft 3in (1m) long walnut muskets are decorated in gilt brass and mother-of-pearl.
On the stock of one is a mother-of-pearl medallion with the Prussian eagle, and on the other a finely executed portrait of Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern (1715-97), who was married to the king of Prussia, Frederick the Great, from 1740-86. Thus it can safely be assumed that these muskets were closely connected to the Prussian royal family.
There is no doubt about their maker – both pieces are dated 1733 and signed by Johann Sebastian Hauschka, the gunsmith to the court of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. The auctioneers have set their sights on an estimate of €70,000-90,000.