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.
Bapst, Germain. Expostion historique et militaire de la Revolution et de l'Empire, exh. cat.. Paris: Galerie des Champs-Élysées, 1895. pp. 94–95.
Dean, Bashford, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of Arms and Armor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, February the Sixth to April the Sixteenth. New York: Gilliss Press, 1911. Cat. no., 201, pl. XLIV, ill.
Silo's Fifth Avenue Art Galleries. The Rook Collection of Arms. New York: Silo's Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, March 6–8, 1919. Cat. no. 554 (this gun, said to have been given by Napoleon to Marechal Ney).
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.
Grancsay, Stephen V. "A Versailles Gun by Boutet, Directeur-Artiste." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 31, no. 8 (1936). p, 163.
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. "Napoleon's Gunmaker." The American Rifleman 96, no. 7 (July 1948). pp. 35–36.
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).
Herold, J. Christopher. The Horizon Book of The Age of Napoleon, edited by Marshall Davidson. 1st ed. New York: American Heritage Publishing Company, 1963. p. 167 (ill. our gun, right side of lock area detail).
Lenk, Torsten. The Flintlock: Its Origin and Development, edited by John F. Hayward. London: Holland Press, 1965. pl. 100, ill. (our gun ill.).
Norman, A. V. B. "Decoration for the Chase." Country Life (September 22, 1966). pp. 693–694, fig. 5, ill.
Hoff, Arne. Feuerwaffen: Ein Waffenhistorisches Handbuch. Bibliothek für Kunst und Antiquitätenfreunde, Vol. 1. Braunschweig: Klinkhardt u. Biermann, 1969. p. 133, pl. 106, ill.
Hoff, Arne. "Hvorfra Stammer Haneformen Med Spore / Where Did the Spurred Cock Originate." Vaabenhistoriske aarbøger 18 (1972). pp. 95–110.