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LePage, Paris. Magnificent 18-bore double flintlock sporting gun, made in 1806.
LePage, Paris. A magnificent 18-bore double-barreled flintlock sporting gun, #862, made in 1806, and so marked inside each lock and on the underside of the barrels at the breeches. Weight: 6 ¾ Lbs. Superb 32 ½” barrels, decorated with gold ormolu at the breeches, and gold inlay along the center, retain most of a rebrowned finish and have brilliant bores. Fine locks, nicely engraved, with maker’s name inlaid with gold, are fully functional and mechanically perfect.The most susceptible-to-wear part of the flintlock is the pan which is subjected to a cutting torch loosed against the bottom of the pan every time the gun is fired. Hence, the lining of these pans with platinum which melts at a higher temp than iron, carbon steel, or gold. Also, please note that the locks on this extraordinary firearm, if you look closely at the pans, while fit up to the lockplate perfectly, they are still removable and, when worn out, they may be replaced with new pans by the maker without having to forge entire new lock plates. The lovely false breech and iron mounts are sculpted and engraved en suite. The figured Walnut stock shows some wear to the checkering and relief carving. Ramrod with iron worm on hidden end is original to the gun.
Jean LePage was honored to have the title of, “Arquebusier de l’Empereur”, from 1802 to 1815. Napoleon Bonaparte was Emperor of France from 1805 - 1814, and again for a brief time in 1815. Was this gun actually made for Napoleon? Not necessarily as LePage would understandably have been proud of that Warrant and could have put that in gold on the barrels for some other extremely wealthy and well-connected aristocrat or a very high-ranking military leader favored by The Emperor himself. At any rate it is an extraordinary specimen from a historic time period. The Gold inlaid inscription on the barrels translates as, “LePage of Paris, Gunmaker to the Emperor”.
Overall a rare and beautiful example of the French Gun maker’s Art, showing some use with but no abuse, suitable for the finest collection or use in the field.