Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 351: Jacques-Louis Arault Flintlock Turn-Off Pocket Pistol

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Extraordinary Silver Mounted, Gilded, and Relief Chiseled Flintlock Turn-Off Pocket Pistol by Royal Gunmaker Jacques-Louis Arault of Versailles

Estimated Price: $25,000 - $35,000

Extraordinary Silver Mounted, Gilded, and Relief Chiseled Flintlock Turn-Off Pocket Pistol by Royal Gunmaker Jacques-Louis Arault of Versailles

Manufacturer: French
Model: Muff Pistol
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 38
Barrel: 1 5/8 inch round
Finish: gold/silver/bright
Grip: silver
Stock:
Item Views: 529
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 205
Class: Antique
Description:

Jacques-Louis Arault was active in Paris and Versailles around 1742-1780 and was a gunmaker to Louis Auguste, Dauphin of France (later King Louis XVI) and also to his youngest brother Charles Philippe de Bourbon, Count of Artois (later King Charles X ). Louis XVI is most famous for his marriage to Marie Antoinette and their deaths at the hands of French revolutionaries, but Americans should also remember him for assisting our own revolutionaries during the American War of Independence. Charles X ruled for six years prior to the July Revolution of 1830. This ornate pistol is signed "ARAULT- A/VERSAILLES" on the folding trigger and has a beautiful blend of intertwining classical martial designs, floral and foliate flourishes, and rococo scrolls set-off by contrasting gilded backgrounds that even extend to the slender neck of the cock. The grip is cast silver and has two subtle hallmarks near the top in one of the scrolls, and the rifled barrel unscrews for easy loading. The floral band at the junction of the barrel and action lines up perfectly and hides any semblance of a seam and is a true testament to the skill that went into this pistol. Aside from the frizzen screw, the pistol has no visible pins or screws. There is a hole at the back of the action that the included tool fits into for removing the grip.

Rating Definition:

Very fine with vibrant gilded backgrounds, gray/brown patina on the barrel and exposed iron, lightly aged patina on the brass grip, minor oxidation, and beautiful engraving. Mechanically excellent aside from the safety. This is a beautiful pistol overall and would have been well-suited as a personal arm of a member of the French aristocracy and would now enhance any collection of fine arms.



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