The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Cased flint-lock rifle with accessories
  • Cased flint-lock rifle with accessories
  • Nicolas Noël Boutet (1761 - 1833)
  • Versailles, France
  • c. 1805
  • Steel, gold, walnut, silver, whale-bone, ivory, morocco leather, velvet, horn and wood, damascened, gilded, engraved and carved
  • Length: 102 cm, overall
    Length: 59.3 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.3 cm, calibre
    Weight: 3.61 kg
  • Maker's mark: Marks of the maker Boutet
    Stamp: '290'
    Stamp: 'Man. Vlles.'
    Inscription: 'BOUTET'
    Inscription: 'A VERSAILLES'
    Stamp: The first standard mark for silver made in the departments for the period 1798 - 1809
    Stamp: The poinçon de garantie for silver made in the Departments fom 1798 - 1809
    Maker's mark: 'A diamond-shaped punch, its long vertical axis, containing a pistol fesse-wise in the centre, its butt ot the dextor; above is the letter N and below it the letter B.
    Inscription: A Gothic R surmounted by an Imperial crown
    Inscription: 'MANUFACTURE IMPÉRIALE D'ARMES DE VERSIALLES ENTERPRISES BOUTET'
    Inscription: 'Boutet à Versilles Manufactre Impériale'
    Stamp: Diamond-shaped punch, its long axis vertical, containing an object consisting of a ball on which stands a tapering obelisk with a smaller ball at the top with tiny rays diverging from it, on the left side of the obelisk is the letter J, on the right is a B.
    Stamp: The mark of the Association des Orfèvres of 1793 - 4, a full-face woman's head and neck with a small capital letter P to her right in an oval punch.
  • A1126
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This magnificent hunting rifle was probably commissioned by the Emperor Napoleon. It was made by Nicolas-Noël Boutet (1761-1833), Directeur-Artiste of the Versailles Arms Manufactory, who was at the time the greatest gunmaker in Europe and perhaps the last of the great artist-gunsmiths. This cased set, which also includes all of the instruments needed to clean, load, and fire the weapon, was later owned by the Russian Tsar Nicholas I. The Russian royal cipher appears on the case lid.

    The two barrels are positioned one on top of the other, each being fired by its own half-lock. The upper barrel is designed to be fired first, the barrels being then rotated to bring the other one into position for shooting. One barrel is rifled with twelve spiralling grooves, while the other is smooth-bore. The barrels are also richly decorated, being carefully heat-blued and inlaid with small gold stars. The muzzle, fittingly enough, is also engraved with thunderclouds and bolts of lightning.