Double-Barreled Flintlock Shotgun with Exchangeable Percussion Locks and Barrels
Nicolas Noël Boutet (French, Versailles and Paris, 1761–1833)
Exchangeable percussion barrels by Léopold Bernard (French, Paris, active 1832–70)
Exchangeable percussion locks by B. Montagnon (French, active ca. 1850)
Exchangeable percussion locks and barrels originally sold by G. Zaoué (French, active 1857–61)
ca. 1818–20; exchangeable percussion locks and barrels, dated 1860
Versailles and Paris
French, Versailles and Paris
Steel, gold, wood (walnut), silver, horn
L. of gun 47 3/8 in. (120.3 cm); L. of double barrel 31 7/8 in. (81.0 cm); L. of percussion locks 5 in. (12.7 cm); L. of bullet pouch 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm); L. of priming flask 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm); L. of bullet mold 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm); L. of ramrod extension 10 3/8 in. (26.4 cm); L. of hammer extractor 2 3/16 in. (5.6 cm); L. of brush for cleaning barrel 2 13/16 in. (7.1 cm); L. of bullet extractor 1 5/16 in. (3.3 cm); L. of screwdriver 6 in. (15.2 cm); L. of bullet extractor 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm); L. of touch hole cleaner 3 3/16 in. (8.1 cm); Cal. .61 in. (15.5 mm); Wt. of gun 6 lbs. 15 oz. (3150 g); Wt. of double barrel 3 lbs. 8 oz. (1600 g); Wt. of percussion locks 5 oz. (150 g); Wt. of bullet pouch 2.5 oz. (71 g); Wt. of priming flask 4.6 oz. (131 g); Wt. of bullet mold 7 oz. (198 g)
Perhaps the richest and most beautiful gun from the last phase of Boutet’s long career, this firearm was made by him after the Restoration of the monarchy in France in 1815. Its exuberant decoration is reminiscent of the style fashionable before the revolution in 1789. The gun was so appreciated by its owner that, in 1860, he commissioned a group of skillful gunmakers to produce a similarly decorated set of barrels and locks using percussion caps, an advanced method of ignition developed after 1820.
Inscription: a. (on gun) 1. (between barrels) Manufacture de Versailles 2. (on both locks) Boutet à Versailles (see Refs. Stockel, p. 47) 3. (on plaque) B M in script monogram in oval 4. (underneath barrel) twice: F R palm frond below in oval 5. (on gold plaque) 160 6. (on all gold plaques) sphinx (?) in octagonal reserve; amsk in oval b. (on double barrel) 1. twice in oval: (see cards for ill.) (see Refs. Stockel, p. 371, mark 1233) 2. LEOPOLD BERNARD 3. CANONNIER à PARIS 4. twice: (see card for ill.) (see Refs. Stockel, p. 371, mark 1234) 5. twice: C in oval 6. C in serrated oval 7. 11ieme - 7 - 1800 c. (on lock) 1. Saoué (G Zaoué) (see Refs. Stockel, p. 324) 2. P D 3. B Montagnon, in oval (see Refs. Stockel, p. 213) d. (on lock) Saoué (G Zaoué) f. (on priming flask) Manufacture à Versailles [sic] g. (on bullet mold) no. 99
(on box) Zoué/Fabt d'armes Bté/S.G.D.G./Entrepot Marseille
Hallmarks (used from 16 August 1819 to 9 May 1838)
(1) an octagon containing a sphinx with number 3 to the left (Paris mark for third standard gold)
(2) an oval containing a profile mask flanked by the number 72 (Paris excise mark)
(3) a lozenge containing letters LB separated by cross and pellet (goldsmith's mark, unidentified; same mark occurs on silver mounts of MMA pistols 04.3.190,191, which have Paris hallmarks for 1809-1819)
Ex. coll.: Prince Fabián Gottlieb Osten-Sachen (military governor of paris in 1814); Sumner Healey, New York; Clarence H. Mackay, Roslyn, Long Island, New York.
Dean, Bashford. Notes on Arms and Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1916.
Stockel, Johann F., and Tøjhusmuseet. Haandskydevaabens Bedømmelse. Vol. II. Copenhagen: Nordlundes Bogtrykkeri, 1943.
Grancsay, Stephen V. "Napoleon's Gunmaker." Enriched Historical Arms 7 (1948). pp. 35–38, ill. front cover.
Thomas, B., Ortwin Gamber, and Hans Schedelmann. Die Schönsten Waffen und Rüstungen aus Europäischen und Amerikanischen Sammlungen. Heidelberg: Keysersche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1963. no. 97, ill.
Lindsay, Merrill, Bruce Pendleton, Verne Noll, and Peter Parnall. One Hundred Great Guns: An Illustrated History of Firearms. New York: Walker and Company, 1967.