November 17, 2020 Early Arms & Militaria: Age of Exploration, Empire & Revolution
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/17/2020
Swamped, octagonal, key-fastened, smoothbore barrels of 11 3/8 inches length and 0.62 bore; their sights dovetailed into the barrels, the rear one noted and the front being a narrow, tapering post topped by a bead; and conical vents. The tops of the burnished barrels between the sights engraved in two parallel lines, “Boutet Directeur Artiste / Manufacture a Versailles”, with four touchmarks on each breech: “BC” on left flat and the intertwined Boutet script cipher “NB” on the top flat, with an indistinct mark below it, and another indistinct mark on the right flat; both breeches with lightly engraved “cloud” motifs bearing traces of inlaid gilding; the stepped tangs and their screw decorated with neo-classical design motifs. Beveled, flat, burnished locks with stepped tails decorated with a batwing design; the first pistol’s lock engraved “Boutet / Directeur Artiste” and the second “Manufactr. a Versailles” below the waterproof pans. Figured walnut full stocks with relief border carving of “rais-de-couer” along the barrels and tangs and beading and scrolling along the ramrod channels, with characteristic, finely checkered butts encircled with silver nails around the bases. Original wood ramrods with mastodon ivory tips. Each pistol’s silver mounts include: an inset butt cap featuring a heavily-chased, helmet of Gaul within an octagonal cartouche with “rais-de-couer” border; the set trigger enclosed within a triggerguard decorated on its front terminal with a flaming fasces surmounting a cuirass, the former flanked by banners and encircled with a laurel wreath and the guard proper bearing a lion’s fleece mounted on a club; the two forward ramrod pipes and tailpipe with beading and channeling around the circumference, the tail of the latter further embellished by a gladius wreathed with grapes, leaves and flowers. The stock has further decorative, silver inlays, including neoclassical panels flanking the barrel tang, bordered side-nails, flanked by a fruit and leave strand suspended from two loops hanging from scrolls with further silver decorative panels, and between the tailpipe and triggerguard is a winged sphinx surmounted by a bordered diamond device in the neoclassical taste. These pistols were almost certainly made shortly after Nicolas-Noël Boutet (1761-1833) was appointed Directeur Artiste with overall supervision of the Versaille Manufactory in 1800 (holding this position until its closure in 1818). Boutet is considered the most accomplished of all French gunmakers and his arms are highly prized for both technical superiority and artistic design. CONDITION: The barrels and locks cleaned over time and showing scattered areas of very light freckling on the former; the forestock of the first pistol with a hairline crack on the left side, angling backward from the middle pipe to the barrel and opposite it on the right, some bruising and loss to the relief carving along the barrel; light dings and bruises elsewhere; the bores with light oxidation. JLK

CORRECTION: These pistols have been professionally reconverted to flintlock. PROVENANCE: From the Collection of Dr. John Lattimer.
Barrel Length
11 - 3/8"
.62 Smoothbore
FFL Status
Flintlock Pistols
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $22,800.00
Estimate: $20,000 - $40,000
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
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