Presentation Flintlock Pistols by Nicolas-Noël Boutet
Presentation Flintlock Pistols by Nicolas-Noël Boutet Presentation Flintlock Pistols by Nicolas-Noël Boutet Presentation Flintlock Pistols by Nicolas-Noël Boutet Presentation Flintlock Pistols by Nicolas-Noël Boutet Presentation Flintlock Pistols by Nicolas-Noël Boutet Presentation Flintlock Pistols by Nicolas-Noël Boutet Presentation Flintlock Pistols by Nicolas-Noël Boutet Presentation Flintlock Pistols by Nicolas-Noël Boutet Presentation Flintlock Pistols by Nicolas-Noël Boutet Presentation Flintlock Pistols by Nicolas-Noël Boutet
Presentation Flintlock Pistols by Nicolas-Noël Boutet

Presentation Flintlock Pistols by Nicolas-Noël Boutet

  • These magnificent presentation flintlock pistols are the work of royal gunsmith Nicolas-Noël Boutet
  • Boutet was gunsmith under King Louis XVI and the chief gunsmith to Emperor Napoléon
  • The pistols are crafted of walnut with silver and gold gilt embellishments of outstanding quality
  • Similar Boutet pistols are found in several museums and demand premium prices when found at auction
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Item No. 30-7083
$125,000
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description
The gunsmith who catered to Emperor Napoléon and some of the history's most esteemed figures, Nicolas Noël Boutet (1761-1833), crafted these awe-inspiring flintlock pistols. Known as one of the greatest gunsmiths, or arquebusiers, to ever live, Boutet served as the director of the Rifles Manufactory of Versailles and headed the Arms de luxe division. His luxuriously decorated firearms blended technical precision with unparalleled artistry resulting in some of the most important guns ever made, including the present pair.

As much works of art as powerful weaponry, these pistols were retailed by Le Page, Arquebusier to the King, and created by Boutet sometime between 1800 and 1805. The walnut stocks are aged to an elegant and desirable patina, adorned with crisp hand-carved Empire elements. The firing mechanism and inlays are formed of superbly chiseled, chased and engraved silver and parcel gilt accents that highlight the immense intricacy of the metalwork that takes the form of the weapons and armor of antiquity, including a pommel cap featuring the helmet of a Roman legionary. The sighted, octagonal steel barrels were created to be both beautiful and precise; their damascened exteriors embellished with regal gilt inlay while the interiors are rifled to ensure shooting accuracy, stability, and increased projectile distance. In every way, these pistols are a marriage of decorative artistry and masterful gunsmithing.

Born to a French royal gunsmith in 1761, Nicolas-Noël Boutet was made an Arquebusier of King Louis XVI in 1788. His work had captured the fascination of Napoléon Bonaparte, and Boutet was nominated to be the artistical director of the then-newly-created Versailles Rifles Manufactory on August 23, 1792. The manufactory established an Arms de luxe department in 1795, to which the gunsmith was placed to head, is responsible for the creation of artistically superior presentation pieces for dignitaries, military heroes, and heads of state. So impressed by the artisan's workmanship and vision, Napoléon made Boutet his chief gunsmith from 1800 to 1818. Under his directorship, the Versailles Manufactory employed master silversmiths, goldsmiths and lock makers to craft some of the most impressive firearms of the period, festooned in the regal Empire taste that dominated Napoléonic decorative arts.

Boutet's majestic firearms can be found in some of the most prestigious museum collections in the world, including the United Kingdom's Royal Collection Trust, The Wallace Collection in London, and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. In April 2016, Christie's of New York sold a very similar pair of Boutet presentation pistols, dated 1825, for an amazing $1,805,000 million dollars.

These flintlock pistols bear the marks of Nicolas Noël Boutet, Le Page of Paris, and the control mark of Pierre Bouny

Circa 1800-1805

16" length
specifications
Period: 19th Century
Origin:France
Type:Arms and Armor
Length:16 Inches
Width:22.5 Inches
Height:6.5 Inches
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