Simon de Paris

Gunmaker to the Comte d'Artois and King Louis XVI, c. 1780, with Barrel by Nicholas Le Clere

.60 caliber smoothbore 38 1/2-inch round barrel with flat section at breech, engraved with CS monogram (likely denoting Charles Simon), fleur de lys, and floral, sunburst, scroll and classical motifs, bordered on either side with rare column motif, extending into scrollwork and sunburst motifs. On the lock are inscribed SIMON ARQUEBUSIER/DU ROI BREVETE/DE MGR COMTE DARTOIS APARIS. Overall length, 54 1/4-inch. Weight, 7 1/2 lbs.

Note: Charles Simon listed as Paris gunmaker to Louis XVI and to the Count d'Artois. Guns of this quality and elegance were used by such luminaries as Marie Antoinette.


Nicholas Le Clere was active in Paris from c. 1768, and named barrelmaker to the royal house of France (Canonnier du Roy), from about 1780. He remained active through c.1830. However, his marks were not in use during the Revolution and the Empire (c. 1789-1815). Many considered him the best gunsmith in France