Catherine the Great of Russia’s Blunderbuss Gift to King Louis XV of France

King Louis XV's blunderbuss (courtesy

Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia (1729-1796) was born Sophie von Anhalt-Zerbst and was the child of a Prussian Prince. At age 15, she was invited to Russia to meet and later marry the next heir to the Russian throne, Peter III of the Romanov family.

King Louis XV's blunderbuss (courtesy

In early 1762, Peter III assumed the throne, but his position was fleeting. In the first six months of his reign, he was essentially overthrown and arrested by his bride. On July 9th of the same year, Peter was forced to abdicate the throne.

King Louis XV's blunderbuss (courtesy

This flintlock blunderbuss was made at Russia’s Imperial Arms Factory in Tula at the behest of Catherine the Great. It’s inlaid with gold and features the royal arms of France and a silver inlaid engraving of a portrait bust of King Louis XV of France.

King Louis XV's blunderbuss (courtesy

We cannot confirm the specific reason for the gift, but it was made around the time that Russia and France concluded an alliance to defeat the Kingdom of Prussia.

King Lousi XV's blunderbuss (courtesy

Embellished arms always have been a popular symbol of peace and cooperation between countries.


  1. avatar Greg says:

    A woman gave a man a weapon of war. Oh, what would Diane Feinstein have said had she and her plastic face been around then?

    1. avatar Alexander says:

      Diane Feinstein is no Catherine!

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        Nice wood on the blunderbuss, but I’ll bet even the horse wouldn’t give wood to Feinstein. (Can I say that?)

        1. avatar .250 Savage says:

          Yes you can! Lol.

  2. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Damn. I bid $150.

  3. avatar Geoff PR says:

    A Tula!

    (Is there a Freudian implication when a woman give a man a gun?)

    1. avatar Jay Dunn says:

      Not for normal people.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        What about Abbey Normal people?

        1. avatar IYearn4nARnCali says:

          Maybe Hans Delbrück, is the answer? heheheh

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “What hump?”

          If you get the chance, see ‘Young Frankenstein’ in BluRay.

          Gorgeous transcription. While watching it, Iwas geeking out on the visible grain structure of the original film…

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      It is when it’s Catherine the Great

  4. avatar jwm says:

    So, it really was good to be king.

  5. avatar 9mm says:

    Will Rob of the AK Operator’s Union be doing a 5000 torture test on it?

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    But should she shoot it on horseback?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Rumor was she wasn’t on the horse’s back.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Yeah, she really loved that horse.

        1. avatar Alexander says:

          The rumor about the horse that you are referring to is a rumor with no basis in fact.

  7. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Unfortunately the blunderbuss was stolen by an imposter along with the plans to the Montgolfier brothers hot air balloon.

  8. avatar jwm says:

    After studying that picture for a while, I like it. Without all the engraving I’d like to have one.

    1. avatar Lying Bastard says:

      Looks like a fun project to build

  9. avatar tsbhoA.P.jr says:

    “…Russia and France concluded an alliance to defeat the Kingdom of Prussia.”
    how’d that work out for her?

    “the axe of wandsbeck.”

  10. avatar bawb says:

    neat trigger. The spectacular engravings appear to feature a mythical scene of a male centaur copulating with a female human or nymph.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Porn wasn’t as cheap and easy to get back in the day. Had to buy an expensive gun to get a scene.

  11. avatar Vitsaus says:

    I bet that thing’s still more accurate than most Mosin-Nagants.

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