Nicholas N Boutet

Made fine firearms for

Louis XVI and Napoleon

Born—Paris (?). France, 1761 Died—Paris, France, 1853

Nicholas Noll Bouti.t was a _ hereditary gunsmith, related to some of the finest gunsmiths in France. His father, Noel Boutct, had been arquebusier des clieveau-legers du Roi, and his father-in-law, Dcsaintcs, was acknowledged arquebusier ordinair du Roi. Both of these titles passed on to young


Boutct lived during one of the most turbulent periods of French history, but his skill, not only as a gunsmith but also as a goldsmith and artist, kept him at the head of his profession despite the rapidly changing political situations. As a young man Boutct was gunmakcr to Louis XVI, but the French Revolution and the execution of the King in 1793 terminated that appointment. The new rulers of Francc, however, also recognizcd Boutct's ability and that same year lie was authorized to recruit gunsmiths from Liege, requisition necessary equipment, and assume the direction of a gun manufactory at Versailles with a special workshop for "amies de luxe'. In 1799, Napoleon rose to power as First Consul, and he was so impressed with Boutct's work that in 1S00 he granted him an 18-ycar concession at Versailles with specific instructions to make highly ornate presentation pieces as well as regulation firearms, and to train artists to preserve the great traditions of French gunmaking. Boutct was not destined to reap the full benefits from this appointment, however, for in 1815, after the battle of Waterloo, the victorious Allies sackcd his workshop and carricd off his models and equipment as well as all completed arms. Following the destruction of his manufactory, Boutet moved to Paris, set up shop at 87 Rue dc Richelieu, and revived his old title of arquebusier ordinair du Roi et de§ Princes, for the French monarchy had once again been restored.—Harold L.

French ArquebusierRemington Nylon Parts

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