The Wallace Collection

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Double-barrelled flint-lock gun with ramrod
  • Double-barrelled flint-lock gun with ramrod
  • Attributed to A Renette
  • Paris, France
  • c. 1815
  • Twist steel, silver, gold, platinum, walnut, ebony and copper alloy, chiselled, engraved, damascened and gilded
  • Length: 133.3 cm
    Length: 92.7 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.6 cm, calibre
    Weight: 3.685 kg
  • Maker's mark: Crowned 'AR'
    Inscription: '1822' Stamped
    Inscription: '28' Stamped
    Inscription: 'DEHEQUE Rue St. Honoré No. 215 A PARIS' Engraved
    Stamp: Excise and 1st standard silver marks
  • A1134
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Double-barrelled flint-lock gun, the barrels of twisted steel joined by a rib in the centre, the surface deeply browned. The breeches are gilt for a length of 2.5 inches, the borders engraved, and are each stamped with a maker's mark. The silver foresight is surrounded by clouds and rays inlaid in gold. The false breech of bright steel carries a shallow sighting groove and is engraved with three small ovals, two containing architectural views and one a sportsman and dog. The right barrel is stamped on the underside 1822 (probably the date), the left 28.

    Locks of bright steel. Both lock-plates are engraved in the centre with a cartouche enclosing the inscription:

    Dehèque Rue St. Honoré No. 215 A PARIS

    The end of the right lock-plate is engraved with a stag pursued by hounds, and the left with a boar. Cocks engraved with female terminal figures, the upper jaws with eagles, while on the steel are winged grenades. There is no wheel to ease the friction between the toe of the pan-cover and the spring, which has instead a curved projection that serves to give a positive action. The cocks and lock-plates have rounded surfaces. Pans lined with platinum. The locks are retained by a single screw on the left-hand lock passing through both. The head of the screw is only revealed when the left cock is drawn back fully. There is a bridle on the pan-cover.

    Stock of dark walnut, finely carved with conventional scroll foliage and on the underside of the butt with a stag's head in relief. Butt with cheek-piece, the grips chequered. The fore-end is short, the two ramrod pipes being carried on the rib of the barrels. Mounts of silver chiselled in relief and partly oxidized. On the heel-plate are hounds pulling down game, on the trigger-guard a hunting trophy suspended from a ring held by a lion's mask (resembling that on the trigger-guard of A1132), and on the ramrod socket a hawk attacking a swan. The trigger-guard and heel-plate are stamped with excise and 1st standard silver marks; there is no maker's mark. A steel sling-loop is attached to the ramrod socket and another is screwed into the underpart of the butt. Ebony ramrod with brass tip and brass-threaded ferrule, the end of which unscrews to reveal a worm.

    French (Paris), about 1815.

    The maker's mark on the barrels may be that of A. Renette of Paris, forebear of the existing firm of Gastine Renette, specialists in duelling pistols.
    The stock is marked in both of the barrel-grooves with the number 13. For the barrel-maker's mark see Støckel no. a 1955 and I, p. 254, no. 921, attributed to A. Renette; and H. L. Blackmore, Royal sporting guns at Windsor, 1968, p. 30, no. L137, where he identifies this mark on a gun of about 1812 as that of Albert Renette. N. Støckel, II, p. 1028, no. a 8127, ascribes this mark to Albert (Albin ?)-Henry-Marie Renette, arquebusier du roi, active in Paris from 1809 to 1834, established in 1825 at 50 rue Popincourt, and later at no. 96; P. Jarlier calls him Albin, without other fore-names, and records that his work was commended at the Exposition of 1823, and received silver medals at the Expositions of 1827 and 1834 (Repertoire, Col. 236). According to Jarlier (op. cit. col. 77) there were two gunmakers called Dehèque, distinguished by the suffixes L' ainé and le jeune. The first of these was established at 29 rue Dauphine from 1798 to 1815. N. Støckel, I, p. 279 gives his fore-names as Louis-Nicholas. The second, the maker of A1134, who is described as arquebusier-fourbisseur, was established at 29 rue Thionville, Theatre Fr., from 1798. His first name is apparently unknown. In the Almanach Bottin du commerce for 1821 his address is given as 'quaie de la Mégisserie 4'. In the 1809 and 1810 Directories his address is given as on A1114. N. Støckel, loc. cit., gives the dates he was at 215 rue St Honoré as 1809 to 1816. His last date is there given as 1835. The marks outside the trigger-guard consist of, a) the premier titre de l' argent used at Paris during the period 1809-19, and b) the garantie de l' argent used at Paris during the same period. The marks on the inside consist of the so-called mark of the Association des Orfèvres of 1793-4 (see under A1126), and d) an unidentified maker's mark, the letters JJ over D all under a closed crown and within a diamond-shaped punch, its longer axis vertical.

    H. L. Blackmore, in a personal communication, pointed out that the decoration on the right side of the butt-plate appears to be based on a design by Renesson published in his Ornements– sujets de Chasse, n.p. (1807-8), pI. II (see Grancsay, Master French gunsmiths' designs, 1970, p. 108). This, in turn, is based on a print by J. B. Oudry, with whose work Renesson was clearly familiar at either first or second hand, since he reproduces the wolf in a trap in pI. IV, and the death of the fox in pI. V (see under A1132).