Nicolas Noël Boutet (French, Versailles and Paris, 1761–1833)
Steel, wood (walnut, ebony), gold, silver
L. 48 3/8 in. (122.9 cm); L. of barrel 33 in. (83.8 cm); Cal. .60 in. (15.2 mm); Wt. 7 lb. 6 oz. (3350 g)
Rogers Fund, 1936
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 375
This is one of the most restrained but sophisticated examples of Boutet's work. The Classical ornament on the barrels and silver mounts is in the Empire style, whereas the bright steel locks, chiseled in relief with a gilt background, recall an earlier eighteenth-century tradition of firearms ornament. The walnut stock, sparingly decorated, is inlaid with ebony and gilt mounts, as also was found on French Empire furniture.
Inscription: Barrels: (at breech end) (1) script initials J B C, the first two conjoined, in octagon; (2) monogram N B (twice; probably Nicolas Bernard, Versailles barrelmaker); (3) BOUTET in octagon (twice); (4) script initials L C in octagon. (right barrel, underside) D·B within oval wreath, in oval; Manu (above); Boutet Directeur artiste (engraved). (left barrel, underside) Vlles; Manufre à Versailles (engraved). Right lock (d): (outside) BOUTET/DIRECTEUR/ARTISTE (engraved on shield held by lions); (inside) Manufacre à Versailles 1801 (engraved). Left lock (c): (outside) MANUFRE A VERSAILLES; (inside) Boutet Directeur artiste 1801 (engraved).
Ex. coll.: Frederick S. Rook; George Leary, New York.