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King Louis XV’s Magnificent Engraved Lorenzoni Rifle

Sold for $181,700.

This Lorenzoni-pattern rifle was presented to King Louis XV of France in the mid 1700s, and is an exquisite example of firearms deemed suitable for royalty at the height of the European kings. It is .38 caliber and rifled, with remarkably usable sights and a repeating mechanism with the ball and powder magazines accessible through a trapdoor in the back of the stock. The barrel is made of a gorgeous damascus steel, with the whole of the gun adorned with silver inlay, engravings, and deep wood carvings.

The gun was noted in the 1775 inventory of the French royal arms collection, but that collection was broken up in 1789 with the French Revolution. This rifle was rediscovered by an American officer in Europe in 1945, who noticed it in a pile on confiscated arms slated to be destroyed. He saved it from that fate and brought it home, where is stayed in his family until being put up for auction at James D Julia this year.

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