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.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of Arms and Armor," February 6–April 16, 1911, no. 201.
Silo James P. The Rook Collection of Arms. New York: James P. Silo, March 1919.
Grancsay, Stephen V. Loan Exhibition of European Arms and Armor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, August 3 to September 27, 1931. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931. p. 94, no. 389.
Scofield, J.K., J. F. Hayward, James G. Mann, and C.G.E. Bunt. "Old Firearms in America." The Connoisseur 108 (1941). pp. 11, 12, figs. 8–8ab.
Grancsay, Stephen V. "Enriched Historical Arms." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 7, no. 4 (December 1948). pp. 35–38, ill. p. 36.
Peterson, Harold L. The Treasury of the Gun. New York: Golden Press, 1962. p. 112 (ill. our gun, side and breech views).
Davis, Frank. "The Royal Navy's Darkest Hour." Country Life 136 (April 23, 1964).
Lenk, Torsten. The Flintlock: Its Origin and Development, edited by John F. Hayward. London: Holland Press, 1965.
Hoff, Arne. Feuerwaffen: Ein Waffenhistorisches Handbuch. Bibliothek für Kunst und Antiquitätenfreunde, Vol. 1. Braunschweig: Klinkhardt u. Biermann, 1969.