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Lot n° 215

Flintlock rifle of the Manufacture of Versailles,...

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Flintlock rifle of the Manufacture of Versailles, given to Lazare Carnot and to all the Directors: Octagonal barrel, slightly blunderbuss, patinated, it is signed, on the higher side: "BOUTET DIRECTEUR- ARTIST"; gauge 15 mm with two types of stripes, nine large alternated with three hair stripes. Tailstock nicely engraved. Flat-bodied lock, no engraving or signature, swan-necked hammer, firewall pan. Veined walnut stock, with cheekpiece, finely checkered on the grip and on the barrel; oval silver thumbpiece engraved with the numeral: "L C" for Lazare Carnot. Iron fittings, cut out and finely engraved with foliage, foliage, animals, heads of deities and a flowery urn; trigger tail with an adjusting screw for the pressure of the finger; wooden rod ending with a turned iron tip. Length 86 cm. The lock was modified at the time or in the First Empire. Directoire period. Very good condition. BOUTET Nicolas Noël, born in 1761 † in 1833, famous director of the manufacture of Versailles, from the year II to 1818; he worked mainly on the weapons of reward, the weapons of honor and the weapons of luxury, as well white as with fire; these reached a world fame, by their quality of execution and the originality of their models. He had in Paris a deposit of the manufacture, 1236 street of the Law (street of Richelieu) in year XI, then, 87 street of Richelieu in 1807; one finds it, as private harquebusier, in 1823, 23 street of the Daughters Saint-Thomas, where he exerted until 1831. He had a son, Pierre Nicolas, born in 1786 † in 1816, which explains sometimes the inscription: "BOUTET et fils". To date, only three rifles of Directors are known: - That of Jean-François Reubell, thumb piece monogrammed: "J R"; in a private Swiss collection. - That of Paul Barras, monogrammed thumb piece: "P B"; transformed lock with percussion; in a private French collection. - The third, which we present, is that of Lazare Carnot, monogrammed thumb piece: "L C". It is reproduced in the work of La Sabretache, published on the occasion of the centenary of Lazare Carnot, in 1923, this photograph represents these three weapons of Director, the sword of great dress, with its harness (which are part of the collections of the Museum of the Army to the Invalides), the sword of small dress and its rifle. Note: The lock of this carbine has been modified. Boutet's firing mechanisms were very fragile: the gooseneck hammers often broke. This lock has been modified to make it more functional, with reinforced hammers. Most of the luxury and reward weapons of the Manufacture of Versailles were prestigious pieces which were very little or never used, they were often offered as diplomatic gifts, the recipients kept them as a souvenir. PROVENANCE : Direct descent of Lazare CARNOT, eldest branch to this day. HISTORY : Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot, one of the greatest citizens of the revolutionary period, nicknamed: "The organizer of the victory", statesman, military, publicist and distinguished geometer; he wrote many military and scientific works; born in Nolay, Côte-d'Or on May 13, 1753; he belonged to a very old family in the country; died in exile in Magdeburg on August 2, 1823. He is buried in the Pantheon. - Lieutenant in 2nd, in 1771. - Lieutenant 1st, in 1773. - Captain, December 14, 1783. - Deputy of Pas-de-Calais, 1791/1792. - Member of the military committee, 1791/1792. - Knight of Saint-Louis, in 1792. - Member of the committee of the war, in 1792. - Member of the committee of public salvation, August 14, 1793. - President of the Convention, from May 5 to 20, 1794. - Chief of battalion, deputy director of engineering, March 21, 1795. - Deputy of the Sarthe, in 1795. - He was a member of the Council of Ancients. - Elected by the Ancients, member of the Directory in place of Sieyès, from November 5, 1795 to September 5, 1797. - President of the Directory, from April 30, 1796 to July 20, 1796, then in June 1797, until September 8, when he was replaced by Merlin de Douai. - Member of the Institute, in July 1796. - Condemned to deportation during the coup d'état of 18 fructidor (September 4, 1797), he returned to France on December 24, 1799. - Chief inspector of the reviews, 1800. - Minister of War in place of Berthier, from April 2, 1800 to October 8, 1800. - Member of the Tribunate, 1802/1807. - General of division and governor of Antwerp, January 25, 1814. - Minister of the Interior, in 1815; Count of the Empire, March 20, 1815; peer of France, June 2, 1815. - Exiled in 1815, after Waterloo and the abdication of Napoleon I, he ended his life in exile in Magdeburg. LIST OF DIRECTORS : - On August 22, 1795, Constitution of the year III, the power is entrusted to a Directory of five members (each year, one of the five will be eliminated by lot and replaced). - On October 31, 1795, the Ancients elected the Di

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