Double-Barreled Percussion Shotgun

Louis Perrin (French, Paris, active 1823–65)

Léopold Bernard (French, Paris, active 1832–67)
dated 1854
French, Paris
Steel, walnut, silver
L. 46 3/5 in. (118.39 cm); L. of barrels, 29 1/8 in. (73.99 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers Fund, The Sulzberger Foundation Inc. Gift, Gifts of William H. Riggs, Bill and Joyce Anderson, Charles M. Schott Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. de Forest, William B. Osgood Field, Christian A. Zabriskie, Dr. Albert T. Weston, Henry Victor Burgy, and Bequest of Alan Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, by exchange, and The Collection of Giovanni P. Morosini, presented by his daughter Giulia, John Stoneacre Ellis Collection, Gift of Mrs. Ellis and Augustus Van Horne Ellis, and Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, funds from various donors, by exchange, 1991
Accession Number:
  • Description

    This is presumably the "richly decorated gun" said to have been exhibited by Perrin in 1855 at the Exposition Universelle in Paris and again in 1862 at the International Exhibition in London. Undoubtedly Louis Perrin's masterpiece, this shotgun is one of the most ambitious firearms of its period. The butt, pierced and carved in the round with the figure of a medieval hunter, reflects the lingering influence of the Gothic revival. The silver mounts are of extraordinary quality, notably the buttplate with its graceful figure of a Native American.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Chiseled in relief near the breech on the rib along the top of the barrel in equal-size Gothic letters: Perrin Bte A Paris.

    On the right barrel: LEOPOLD BERNARD; and N64; On the left barrel: CANNONIER A PARIS; on the midrib, 8184.1854.

    Marking: Stamped beneath each barrel: a deeply punched oval mark with the letters LB separated by a dot, with a closed (imperial?) crown above, and a five-pointed star below;

    On the breech hook: L. Perrin;

    On the face of each lockplate, in the recess for the cock: L.PERRIN; on the inside face of each lockplate, L.PERRIN and the number 64; inside the right lock is the additional stamp W.

    Scratched on the inside of the silver buttplate are the intials: JPD, and the date 1976 (possibly referring to the restorer);

    On the lock recess on each side of the stock: L. PERRIN stamped twice at the extreme ends;

    On the underside of the breech tang and on the inside surface of each bridle (within the lock mechanism): 64;

    On the lock components and screws: assembly marks as 1, 2, or 3 notches.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History