Page 202 - Auction84-Book1
P. 202

Not All Art is Framed
The inscription on the barrel is discussed in Chapter 14: Signatures in the After his release, he was made a duke and peer of France but died
 highly influential book “The Flintlock: Its Origin, Development, and Use” by Torsten Lenk which notes it as found on pistols No. 207 of “Cabinet d’Armes” and later notes that one of the pistols was in the Tower of London and the other in the W. Keith Neal Collection. The same is also noted in the “Gazette des Armes” no. 277 from 1997 on page 24.
King Louis XIII (1601-1643, reigned 1610-1643) became king when he was just 8 after the assassination of King Henry IV. His mother, Marie
de Medicis of the powerful Italian House of Medici, had a contentious relationship with his father and essentially ruled France following Henry IV’s assassination the day following her coronation until Louis XIII exiled her in 1617 and had many of her Italian supporters executed. Nicolas de L’Hospital, later Duke of Vitry, was one of Louis XIII’s favorites, a captain of the royal guards, and shot and killed Concino Concini, his mother’s favorite, during Louis XIII’s coup. He replaced Concini as Marshal of France and was also the governor of the Bastille and helped Louis XIII consolidated the power of the French monarchy but fell from favor after abusing his power and disobeying the king. He was imprisoned in the Bastille in 1637-1643 by the order of Cardinal Richelieu, Louis XIII’s chief minister, after the assault of Henri de Sourdis, Archbishop of Bordeaux.
the following year. In 1643, his younger brother Francois de L’Hospital (1583-1660), who was also close to the king since 1617, became Marshal of France and colonel of the Regiment of the Queen Mother (later the Regiment of the Crown) and became Duke of Vitry upon his brother’s death in 1644. Perhaps the pistols were presented to the king in 1643- 1645 by one of these two men as Duke of Vitry. They may have been looted from the Bastille during the French Revolution and then separated. CONDITION: Exceptionally fine overall as partially restored. This pistol is certainly in much better condition than the other pistol from the pair which is held in the Royal Armouries Collections in the U.K. It has 75% plus of the bright fire blue finish on the barrel, aged patina and moderate wear on the decorated barrel panels and trigger guard, mostly bright lock with light patina and crisp engraving, aged patina on the silver stock inlays
and bands, some repairs in the forend, and some minor replacement
stock inlays. The second pommel is also fine and has aged patina on the silver and mild wear on the wood. The lock has not been tested. This is a beautiful pistol owned by King Louis XIII of France in the 17th century. Provenance: The collections of Louis XIII of France; Frederick Spitzer; W. Keith Neal; Clay Bedford; Peter Bedford; Tom Lewis.
Estimate: 120,000 - 250,000

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