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Date Information

ca. 1640


"The barrel, of blued steel, is polygonal for the first one-third of its length, and cylindrical from that point to the muzzle. Inlaid with gold and silver on the breech and in three other places with foliated scrolls, animal forms and a figure in classical attire standing beneath a canopy. The upper surface of the barrel is inlaid with the gunsmith's signature: A VITRE PAR M. JAQUES. DE GOULET.; the mark of this maker is furthermore engraved on the breech and shows the initials I.G. within a shield. The lock is of that rare XVII Century French pattern, unlike any other type, the mainspring being encased in the wooden stock and independent of the lock proper and the end of the axle-tree of the wheel is supported by the screw-plate (a French invention) forming a wide open V. This lock is of bright steel slightly engraved; inlaid trigger-guard. Walnut stock with octagonal, ovoid butt. Butt and stock inlaid throughout with silver floral scrolls, and with silver applied plates depicting animals, amorini, and oriental figures under canopies. Jacques de Goulet, the maker of this fine pistol, was one of Louis XIII's official gunsmiths. It belonged to Louis XIII, and appears in the inventory of his weapons drawn up in 1685, under Louis XIV, where it is No. 207. Both its provenance and its unusual character make it one of the most valuable pieces in the collection. From the Spitzer Collection. Provenance: Purchased by William Randolph Hearst from Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co., Inc., April 24, 1924 for $1478.60; sold to Gimbel Bros., Inc., March 30, 1943 for $370. "


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Long Island University, Brookville, NY, Photograph, William Randolph Hearst Archive, S/B lot 625, Article 185, Album 1b, p. 44


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