Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3214: Nicolas-Noel Boutet Versailles Manufactory Flintlock Carbine

Auction Date: August 28, 2022

Rare Engraved and Gold Inlaid Nicolas-Noel Boutet Versailles Manufactory Flintlock Carbine

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $14,000 - $22,500

Rare Engraved and Gold Inlaid Nicolas-Noel Boutet Versailles Manufactory Flintlock Carbine

Manufacturer: Boutet
Model: Flintlock
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 54
Barrel: 25 3/4 inch octagon
Finish: blue/gold/bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 336
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 151
Class: Antique

This carbine originates from the renowned Versailles Manufactory led by Nicolas-Noel Boutet (1761-1833). While Napoleon reigned as Emperor of the French, some of the most incredible "de luxe" firearms the world has ever seen were designed by Boutet and crafted by his talented team of specialized artisans. Many of those pieces were commissioned by Napoleon himself as presentation pieces for his officers, political allies, and foreign dignitaries as well as for the emperor himself and his family. The Versailles Manufactory was known as the Manufacture de Carabines des Versailles in 1794-1799 due to focus on manufacturing plain martial carbines for the French armies. This early 19th century carbine has a finely rifled barrel with a dovetailed blade front sight, three-leaf rear sight, gold bands at the muzzle, gold floral patterns at the breech, Boutet and LeClerc maker's marks at the breech, and bright floral engraved tang. The lock has border and floral engraving and is marked "Manufac/A Versailles." The carbine has an adjustable single set trigger. The furniture is bright steel and has mainly floral patterns along with vases. The full-length stock has fine checkering on the grasping section of the forend and wrist, a carved grip extension followed by raised relief floral caring, and a nicely shaped cheekpiece with a scroll and floral pattern in raised relief at the rear.

Rating Definition:

Fine with 70% slightly flaked gold remaining at the breech, dark brown patina on the barrel, mostly gray patina on the lock and furniture, some mild oxidation and pitting, mostly crisp engraving and designs, absent front swivel screw and rear trigger plate screw, and moderate overall wear. The revarnished stock is very good and has moderately worn checkering, some small flakes, mild dings and scratches, and distinct carving. The ramrod tip is damaged. The set trigger needs some attention, but the lock is mechanically excellent.

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