Rock Island Auction Company
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Auction Date: September 11, 2015

Lot 1115: French - Flintlock

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An Extremely Rare Gold Mounted Flintlock Pocket Pistol By Nicholas Noel Boutet Circa 1805
Estimated Price: $27,500 - $37,500
Item Views 194 Bid Activity Average
Serial #French - Flintlock ManufacturerFrench ModelFlintlock
TypePistol Gauge60 Catalog Page58
Barrel1 3/8 Inch Round FinishFrench Bright GripOne Piece Ebony
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThe frame is superbly engraved with a stallion in a landscape on the left side and a fearsome bull on the right. The artistic execution of the panels remained unequaled in the 19th century. The underside of the frame in minutely engraved with a bordered panel two bucolic villagers amid trees, and a deer in a field scene on the folding trigger. The round turn off barrel features exquisitely rendered border engraving of leaves and foliage and a panel with a French lady in Empire dress carrying a basket over her right arm. The swan neck hammer is engraved with stars and the frizzen and top-jaw in suite. The pan fence is engraved, as are all the screw heads. The frame is signed in full “BOUTET/DIRECTEUR/ARTISTE” and the barrel further signed “MANUFre A VERSAILLES”. The push on button safety is engraved as well. The finely molded ebony grip is elaborately inlaid throughout its surface with winged dragons, a large gryphon, leaves, and scrolling foliage. Every aspect of this lovely pistol is a tribute to Nicholas Boutet as perhaps the greatest maker of high art arms of all time. Boutet’s works are highly prized by national museums from the Metropolitan, to the Hermitage, to France’s own Musee de l’Armee. There are only three gold mounted Boutet flintlock pocket pistols in private hands in the United States. A pair with similar but not as elaborate gold inlaid grips is part of a garniture which was purchased for more than five million dollars. A copy of an exhibition catalog, Three Centuries of Tradition, featuring the garniture is included.

ConditionGood. The steel parts have an aged gray patina with crisp and distinct engraving of the panel scenes and designs throughout. The polished ebony grip has minor repairs but all the gold inlays are pristine and bright with distinct detail and no lifting or replacement. The small parts are all original. The action functions properly. This is the only gold mounted Boutet likely to be offered at auction for the foreseeable future and is one of only three in private hands. It is truly a collection in itself.
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Premiere Auction Terms

Terms and conditions regarding Premiere Auctions. Revised : 08/29/2014


SHIPPING CHARGES. All shipping charges must be paid by the successful bidder prior to delivery of the firearm. If Rock Island Auction (RIAC) is asked to ship the purchased lots, there will be a separate charge for such shipping. Shipping charges will be based upon what it costs RIAC to ship the purchased lots to the purchaser. All items must have shipping insurance; this insurance is mandatory. RIAC will not charge any labor charges for shipping. RIAC is not liable for any acts of omissions in packaging or shipping. Purchased lots handled by outside carriers or packers, including those RIAC may have recommended, may carry their own insurance and any claims for losses or damages should be addressed directly to the outside carriers or packers. RIAC will arrange for packing and shipping at RIAC’s earliest possible convenience. RIAC will attempt to ship as soon as possible; however, due to RIAC’s high volume of absentee bids, shipping can take up to two weeks after full payment is received. In the case of crating or any exceptional packaging, the purchaser will be charged RIAC’s cost from outside agents. Purchaser pays shipping, packing materials, and insurance charges. The shipping of any purchased items outside of the United States is hereby classified as “foreign export”. All foreign export is the sole responsibility of the purchaser.