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Lot 311
A Fine 20-Bore French Flintlock Sporting Gun
Signed Thuraine Et Le Hollandois A Paris, Circa 1665

Sold for £ 13,200 (US$ 17,524) inc. premium
A Fine 20-Bore French Flintlock Sporting Gun
Signed Thuraine Et Le Hollandois A Paris, Circa 1665
With tapering barrel in three stages divided by mouldings, the breech section octagonal changing to sixteen-sided and engraved on the top flat with monogram 'AE', silver fore-sight, and pierced iron ring back-sight finely engraved and chiselled after designs by Jean Bérain with symmetrical patterns of flowers, foliage and interlaced scrollwork inhabited by demi-figures, border engraved tang decorated with a female mask and foliage, signed slightly bellied border engraved convex lock decorated with a bird within hatched foliated scrollwork and on the pointed tail with a female figure and foliage, moulded finely figured walnut full stock (minor chips and bruises) with a raised panel at the barrel tang and trigger-guard and a waved design on each side at the ramrod-entry, bright steel mounts, flat side-plate finely pierced and engraved with interlaced foliated scrollwork involving monster-heads, grotesque profile heads, a putto and a satyr, rounded trigger-guard engraved on the bow with a spray of stylised foliage, rounded butt-plate engraved on the heel with a female mask and foliage echoing the design on the barrel tang, engraved trigger-plate, scrolled trigger with finely pierced and engraved details, pierced escutcheon finely engraved with a basket of fruit above three satyrs, four baluster ramrod-pipes (two with small chips), and iron-capped ramrod, probably original, the butt-plate engraved 'No. 9' (iron parts with some scattered minor surface pitting, mainly on the barrel)
125.1 cm. barrel

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    The Royal House of Hanover, Schloß Marienburg

    Literature:
    G. de Vries and B.J. Martens, The Visser Collection, vol. I, part 4, cat. no. 784, pp. 250-251

    Thuraine and le Hollandois (Adrien Reynier) were gunsmiths to King Louis XIV. They are best known for their authorship of a pattern book whose exact date is unknown, although some issues are dated 1660. The duration of their partnership is not known, but they were probably working together throughout most of the 1650s, and into the 1660s. In spite of this, only two guns and a pair of pistols with their joint signature seem to be recorded (respectively in the Tøjhusmeet, Copenhagen, and formerly in the armoury of the Royal House of Hanover) - see Stephen V. Grancsay (ed.), Master French Gunsmiths' Designs of the XVII-XIX Centuries, p. 12

    See also Torsten Lenk, The Flintlock: its origin and development, chapter eight, 'The Thuraine and Le Hollandois Style', pp. 79-92
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