Double-Barreled Percussion Shotgun, Louis Perrin (French, Paris, active 1823–65), Steel, wood (walnut), silver, French, Paris

Double-Barreled Percussion Shotgun

Louis Perrin (French, Paris, active 1823–65)
Léopold Bernard (French, Paris, active 1832–70)
dated 1854
French, Paris
Steel, wood (walnut), silver
L. 46 3/5 in. (118.4 cm); L. of barrel 29 1/8 in. (73.9 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:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 375
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.
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.
Exposition Universelle de Paris en 1855: Exposition des produits de l'industrie de toutes les nations, 1855. Paris, 1855. p. 94.

Impr. Impérial. Exposition universelle de 1855, Rapports du jury mixte international publiés sous la direction de S.A.I. la prince Napoléon, président de la Commission Impériale. Vol. 2. Paris: Impr. Impérial, 1856. p. 47.

Waring, J. B. Masterpieces of Industrial Art and Sculpture at the International Exhibition, 1862. Vol. 1. London, 1863. text opposite pl. 6.

Deutsches Waffenjournal (July 1976).

Jarlier, Pierre. Répertoire d'Arquebusiers et de Fourbisseurs Français Avec des Nom de Directeurs et Contrôleurs des Manufactures d'Armes Français. St.-Julien-du-Sault, France: F. P. Lobies, 1976. Biographical information on Perrin.

Heer, Eugène. Der Neue Stockel: Internationales lexikon der Buchsenmacher, Feuerwaffenfabrikkanten und Armbrustmacher von 1400-1900. Vol. 2. Germany, 1979. p. 942.

Jarlier, Pierre. Répertoire d'Arquebusiers et de Fourbisseurs Français, 2e Supplément. St. Julien du Sault: F. P. Lobies, 1981. column 217.

Pyhrr, Stuart W., and Donald J. La Rocca. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1990–1991: Arms and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Autumn, 1991), p. 25, ill.