Son of an arquebusier of Louis XVI, Boutet continued his career at Versailles. In 1792, when Prussia declares war on France, Benezech and Boutet are commissioned for creating an arms factory. They use for that purpose a wide disabled part of the palace, where they will produce carbines but also locks.
Such an official mission is also in the trend of the revolutionary decision to put an end to the privileges of the guilds, with a favorable consequence in Boutet's ability to hire the best workers from Europe.
Boutet was all along his life an unefficient financial administrator but his response to military and artistic needs was perfect. Napoléon gave him his confidence. Between 1800 and 1818, the Manufacture de Versailles produced 145,000 military firearms and 485,000 other weapons including swords. It employed 800 workers.
The production by Boutet of presentation rifles, pistols and swords is responding to a request certainly made by the Premier Consul himself, probably as early as 1800. In 1806, when he granted new kingdoms to his brothers, Napoléon offered them weapons of the highest luxury.
On September 30 in London, Christie's sells a flintlock sporting rifle with gold inlaid panels, lot 182 estimated £ 250K. This weapon bears the mark used by Boutet during the Consulat from 1799 to 1803 but also the monogram of Jérôme Napoléon appointed king of Westphalia in 1807. I tend to believe that this beautiful presentation rifle was made around 1806.