A silver-mounted French flintlock fowling gun by Nicolas Noel Boutet
No. 36, approximately 20 gauge. The 29 inch blued side-by-side three-stage barrels with engraved and gilt panels at the muzzles and framing the silver fore-sight. Breeches with gilt sunbursts, geometrics, pellets and panoplies on a stippled ground, the markings between the barrels obscured. Right side of barrels marked with the poincon of Denis Brouilly, the undersides marked Manu/Vlles. Breeches with poincons of Boutet and D. Boussavy and with two others, one LC, the other obscured. Engraved and sighted tang. Gold-lined touch holes. Gold-filled pans. Locks with roller-mounted springs and consecutively signed Boutet Directeur Artiste/Manuf. a Versailles. Swan neck cocks. Silver furniture comprising ramrod thimbles cast and chased with acanthus; fore-end cap featuring the head of Mercury with caduceus and acanthus wreath; triggerguard featuring the head of Jupiter surmounted by an eagle, the finial with winged goat with floral urn; buttplate with floral and addorsed griffins. Buttplate with provincial guarantee mark for 1798-1809 and maker's mark, a diamond with the monogram JM below a star with pellets below. Figured walnut half-stock with finely checkered fore-end and wrist, repeating borders along fore-end and around barrel tang and carved in full relief behind the triggerguard with a mythical beast's head with scrolling floral tongue. With bone tipped ramrod.
Condition: Very good. Barrels retain most blued and gilt finishes, possibly a period reblue. Cock of left lock with crude repair to neck and blackened coloration. Stock showing wear to checkering, hairline crack to right of fore-end at barrel wedge and repaired crack through wrist. The ramrod tip broken and incomplete