We’ve found a remarkable piece of firearms history on YouTube what we would like to share with you. It’s advertised as the “The oldest revolver in the world /what/ might be produced as early as 1597, owned by a famous Norwegian general George von Reichwein and today part of the Maihaugen Museum (www.maihaugen.no) collections in Lillehammer, Norway.” And we have no reason to doubt this statement.
There is a stamp mark of a horse spur on it’s side what tells us that it was made by the German weapons blacksmith Hans Stopler in 1597. The mechanism itself is quite unique – each chamber of the cylinder has it’s own frizzen and pan ti touch holes. The cylinder must be rotated manually for each shot.
The revolver belonged to the officer Georg von Reichwein (1593-1667), coming from Hessen in Germany to Norway in 1628. That year Christian IV, King of Denmark and Norway employed several officers from Germany and the Netherlands. The goal was to strengthen the military during the European Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648).
Reichwein was appointed to major and commander of the forces at Bergenhus fortress in 1636. On the gun stock there is a silver badge with the inscription “Georg Reichwein 1636”, and a grape cluster and acantus decor.