Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Flintlock Gun of Louis XIII (1601–1643), King of France

Gunsmith:
Pierre Le Bourgeois (French, Lisieux, died 1627)
Gunsmith:
Marin Le Bourgeois (French, Lisieux, ca. 1550–1634)
Date:
ca. 1620
Geography:
Lisieux
Culture:
French, Lisieux
Medium:
Steel, brass, silver, gold, wood (walnut), mother-of-pearl
Dimensions:
L. 55 5/16 in. (140.5 cm); Cal. .59 in. (55 mm); L. of barrel 41 in. (104.1 cm); L. of lockplate 6 9/16 in. (16.7 cm); Wt. 5 lb. 11 oz. (2580 g)
Classification:
Firearms-Guns-Flintlock
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund and Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1972
Accession Number:
1972.223
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 375
This fowling piece is one of the earliest firearms equiped with the flintlock of French construction. It was made for Louis XIII (reigned 1610–43) in the workshop directed by Pierre Le Bourgeois' brother, Marin (about 1550–1634), to whom the invention of the flintlock mechanism is traditionally ascribed. The decoration of the gun includes the crowned monogram of the king. The scroll-shaped end of the gunstock is an unusual and especially graceful feature of this gun's design.
Marking: Mark stamped on top of barrel near breech, a crossbow between letters PB, is attributed to Pierre le Bourgeois of Lisieux (d. 1627), brother of Marin (d. 1634) and Jean (d. 1615) le Bourgeois, both also arquebusiers in Lisieux.
Saint Louis. Saint Louis Art Museum. "Firearms of Princes," December, 1939–January, 1940, no. Pl. I, c lent by Mr. William G. Renwick.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cabinet d'Armes of Louis XIII," 1973, no. F.5.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Patterns of Collecting: Selected Acquisitions 1965–1975," December 6, 1975–March 23, 1976.

Guiffrey, J. J. "Liste des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Architectes, Graveurs et Autres Artistes de la Maison de Roi, de la Reine ou des Prince du Sang, Pendant les XVI, XVII et XVIII Siècles." Nouvelles Archives de l'Art Français 1 (1872). p. 63.

Dean, Bashford. Notes on Arms and Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1916.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Accessions and Notes: Changes in the Armor Study Room." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 22, no. 7 (1927). 198–99, ill.

Lenk, Torsten. "De Äldsta Flintlåsen, Deras Dekoration och Dekoratörer." Konsthistorisk Tidskrift III, nos. 4 (1934). p. 121, fig. 5.

The Hearst Corporation. "Early Firearms at St. Louis Museum." The Connoisseur 105, no. 465 (May 1940). pp. 217–18.

Hoopes, Thomas T., and City Art Museum of St. Louis. "Loan Exhibition: Firearms of Princes." Bulletin of the City Art Museum of St. Louis 25, no. 1 (January 1940). pp. 10–11, pl. I(c).

Hayward, J.F. The Art of the Gunmaker. Vol. 1. 1500–1660. London: Barrie and Rockliff, 1962. pp. 142–145.

Peterson, Harold L. The Treasury of the Gun. New York: Golden Press, 1962. p. 96–97, ill.

Lenk, Torsten. The Flintlock: Its Origin and Development, edited by John F. Hayward. London: Holland Press, 1965. pp. 16–17, pl. 9.

Lindsay, Merrill, Bruce Pendleton, Verne Noll, and Peter Parnall. One Hundred Great Guns: An Illustrated History of Firearms. New York: Walker and Company, 1967. p. 78.

Hoff, Arne. Feuerwaffen: Ein Waffenhistorisches Handbuch. Bibliothek für Kunst und Antiquitätenfreunde, Vol. 1. Braunschweig: Klinkhardt u. Biermann, 1969. pp. 246–50.

Norman, Geraldine. "£125,000 Paid for Single Gun." The Times 58638 (November 22, 1972). p. 1, ill.

Hayward, John F. "Notes on the Cabinet D'Armes of Louis XIII." Livrustkammaren 13, no. 1–2 (1973). pp. 23–32, figs. 1–2.

Hoving, Thomas. "[Director's Note]." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 32, no. 4 (1973–74). p. 57.

Shirey, David L. "Met Acquires 17th-Century Flintlock." New York Times (May 5, 1973). p. 43, ill.

Lindsay, Merrill. "The Most Valuable Gun in the World." Guns (June 1974). pp. 42–45, 56–58, ill.

Nickel, Helmut. Ullstein-Waffenbuch: Eine Kulturhistorische Waffenkunde Mit Markenverzeichnis. Berlin: Ullstein, 1974. pp. 248, 257, ill.

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965–1975. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975. p. 44, ill.

Nickel, Helmut. "The Long Wait and the Quick Draw." In The Chase, the Capture: Collecting at the Metropolitan. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975. pp. 171–79, figs. 41–42.

Tarassuk, Leonid, and Robert Lawrence Wilson. "Aristocratic Arms Collectors: A History of Famous European Aficionados, Part I." Man at Arms 5 (January–February 1983). p. 34.

Tarassuk, Leonid. "The Cabinet d'Armes of Louis XIII: Some Firearms and Related Problems." Metropolitan Museum Journal 21 (1986). pp. 88–93, figs. 36–40 and cover.

Joris, Ph. "Un Pistolet a Rouet de Jean Le Bourgeois du Cabinet d'Armes de Louis XIII." Le Musée d'Armes 5, nos. 53–54 (1987). pp. 5–11, figs. 4–6.

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49, no. 1 (Summer 1991). pp. 42–43, 64, ill. p. 42.

Reverseau, Jean-Pierre. "Arquebuse de Pierre Le Bourgeois." Revue de la Societé des Amis du Musée de l'Armée 110 (December 1995). p. 69.

Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. Un Temps D'exubérance: Les Arts Décoratifs Sous Louis XIII et Anne D'autriche: Paris, Galeries Nationales Du Grand Palais, 9 Avril–8 Juillet 2002. Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2002. no. 215.

Reverseau, Jean-Pierre. Armes et Armures de la Couronne au Musée de l'Armée. Dijon: Éditions Faton, 2004. p. 295, ill.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Thomas P. Campbell. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 166, ill.



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