The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Flint-lock gun with ramrod
  • Flint-lock gun with ramrod
  • Nicolas Noël Boutet (1761 - 1833)
  • Versailles, France
  • c. 1809 - c. 1819
  • Twist steel, gold, walnut, silver and whalebone, browned, damascened, engraved, blued, carved and chiselled
  • Length: 139.3 cm
    Length: 97.3 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.6 cm, calibre
    Weight: 2.78 kg
  • Inscription: 'BOUTET ET FILS À VERSAILLES' In gold letters
    Proof mark: Three marks in form of fleurs-de-lys
    Maker's mark: Mark and '25'
    Inscription: 'BOUTET ET FILS À VERSAILLES'
    Mark: 1st standard silver and excise
    Stamp: Petite garantie
    Excise mark
  • A1130
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Flint-lock gun, the barrel of twisted steel, octagonal at the breech, then round, the surface browned and the octagonal portion inlaid in gold with foliage in the Empire style. In an oval panel on the top plane is the inscription in gold letters:

    BOUTET ET FILS À VERSAILLES

    The body of the spur-necked cock is engraved with a monster, the upper jaw with a dog's head, and the steel with two monsters affrontés. The surface of the metal, which is case-hardened, is a greyish colour, save for the steel-spring which is brilliantly blued. Gold-lined pan. The cock has no step cut on its inner face, and therefore comes to rest with its neck resting on the flash-deflector of the pan. The lock has internal and external bridles.

    Stock of walnut, finely carved with scrolled foliage, the underside of the grip with a boar's head in relief. Butt with cheek-piece. Mounts of chiselled silver. The sides of the heel-plate are chased with dragons and masks. The screw-plate is ornamented with a lion attacking two deer, the trigger-guard bow with a bust of Diana and a stag's head, the finial with a hooded falcon, and the ramrod socket with a boar's head, all chiselled in low relief. The hunt scene on the centre of the lock-plate is based on an engraving of a painting by Jean-Baptiste Oudry, from the Recueil de divers animaux de chasse par M. Oudri, published in Paris by P. La Bas, Graveur du Roy (see Norman, Country Life, CXL, pp. 692-4, fig. 7).

    The trigger-guard and heel-plate are stamped with marks denoting 1st standard silver and excise, as used in the Départements, in this case probably Seine-et-Oise, and the special maker's mark used by Boutet; all mounts have a poinçon de petite garantie, except the screw-plate which has the excise mark only. On the top of the grip is a plain oval gold scutcheon-plate. The trigger is curved to the right for greater ease of manipulation, and roughened by hatching. Whale-bone ramrod with silver tip and steel worm.
    Of the silver marks, the top one is the poinçon de litre départmental, 1st Standard, for the period 1809-19, and the third one is the moyenne garantie for the Departments. All the pieces bear the hare's head, the petite garantie for Paris for the period 1819-38, indicating that A1130 was on the market during that period.

    The petite garantie appears to be that for Paris use between 1819 and 1838, and may have been stamped later than the date of manufacture (see also A1219). Most of the petite garantie stamps on these silver mounts belong to this late period.

    French (Versailles), about 1815.

    This gun is a fine example of Boutet's later work, after his son, Nicholas Pierre, had been taken into partnership.

    Kennard, French Pistols and Sporting Guns, 1972, p. 45.

    Nicolas-Pierre Boutet died about 1816.