The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Flint-lock pistol with ramrod
  • Flint-lock pistol with ramrod
  • Nicolas Noël Boutet (1761 - 1833)
  • Versailles, France
  • c. 1810
  • Steel, gold, walnut wood, ebony, silver, wood and ivory, overlaid, encrusted, engraved and chiselled
  • Length: 40.7 cm, overall
    Length: 26.4 cm, barrel
    Width: 1.7 cm, calibre
    Weight: 0.925 kg
  • Inscription: 'Manufacture à Versailles'
    Inscription: 'Boutet Directeur Artiste'
    Proof mark: Boutet
    Inscription: 'Boutet Directeur Artiste'
  • A1220
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Flint-lock pistol, a pair with A1219. Octagonal barrel with matt blue surface lightly chiselled and overlaid in gold with a formal Empire design of vases, garlands and drapery. On the left side alongside the stock is engraved: Manufacture à Versailles, and on the right: Boutet Directeur Artiste. At the breech are stamped Boutet's proof marks, and another mark is stamped on the underside. Fore and backsights. Multi-grooved rifling. The vent is faced with an oval gold plaque. The false breech of bright steel is engraved with a may-pole and an armadillo (?).

    Lock of bright steel retaining the original burnish. Lock-plate encrusted in gold with a design of thunder-clouds and lightning, and the upper jaw of the cock with a caduceus. Gold-lined pan. The inner side of the lock-plate is engraved: Boutet Directeur Artiste.

    The inner side of the lock-plate is inscribed: Manufres. à Versailles. A portion of the ebony inlay on the butt has been restored.

    Stock of walnut with delicately-carved borders. The grip is inlaid with panels of ebony on either side and these in their turn are inlaid with gold plaques engraved with a pair of griffins supporting a wreath. There is a lozenge-shaped gold plaque engraved with two heads addorsed Janus-like, which is inlaid in front of the trigger-guard and two oval plaques of gold are inlaid on either side of the fore-end. The mounts are of oxidized silver chiselled in relief; the butt-cap with a classical helmet, the trigger-guard with the lion's skin and club of Hercules, and on the finial a trophy of arms, the ramrod socket with a Roman sword and shield, and a garland of flowers. All the mounts are stamped with a petite garantie mark. Wooden ramrod, with ivory tip capped with steel and a threaded brass ferrule.

    French (Versailles), about 1810.

    The mark of the petite garantie, or census, of a man’s head, is that in use between 1819 and 1838, when the pistol may have been stamped at a later date than that of its manufacture.

    The 'armadillo' on the false-breech is apparently an insect of some sort. The main-spring is attached to the tumbler by a link. There is an external bridle for the pan-cover. A tiny hare's head is struck on the butt-cap-the petite garantie for Paris from 1819 to 1838, indicating that A1219-20 were on the market during that period.

    Hayward, Art of the Gunmaker, II, p. 340, pI. 62a.

    The top mark is N. Støckel, no. a 97 (vol. I, p. 133). The left and central marks are not recorded by N. Støckel; the right-hand mark is N. Støckel, I, p. 224, no. a 3741, attributed to Jean Nicholas Le Clerk, Paris, 1764-88. The lowest mark also occurs on A1131 and is here discussed under that number. For the history of these pistols, see under A1131.