Nicolas Bouillet is listed as an active gunmaker between 1776-1800 out of Paris, France, and is said to have worked at La Manufacture d'armes de Versailles, then opened business with a brother (name unknown) and became known for making air guns. This impressive air pistol has repeating capability with a tube magazine located beneath the barrel for use with lead balls, a ball shaped grip reservoir, and features a trigger that flips out automatically upon pulling the hammer back to the full cock position, and the trigger automatically retracts after it is pulled. It loads out of the tube magazine by pulling the lever down that is located on the left beneath the breech and pushing up on a spring loading button located on the bottom of the magazine tube. The smoothbore barrel measures at approximately .43 caliber/11 mm and has a blade front sight and notch rear sight. The lockplate is signed "BOUILLET/A PARIS/INVENIT." in fancy lettering. Light border engraving on the action, and floral engraving on the hammer. Circular brass collection tag marked "R.D. BEEMAN/PRIVATE/COLLECTION/465" hanging from the ring on the right of the forend. Provenance: The Dr. Robert D. Beeman Collection
Fine with smooth gray and brown patina on the barrel, magazine, action and components, a mix of smooth brown patina on what appears to be old finish on the reservoir grip, some scattered patches of light pitting, and defined maker markings. The magazine tube loading gate does not open, otherwise functions mechanically fine. This unique Nicolas Bouillet repeating air pistol is far ahead of its time, and would make a fine addition to any advanced antique arms collection!
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