Pedersoli Pedersoli
Black powder 10 years collection
1808-2008 - Honour to the officers

Boutet 1er Empire

After the Tilsit treaty, the European plan set by Napoleon Bonaparte was not evolving like it was forecast, due partly to the failure of the “continental blockade” being ignored by the states that let English ships into their harbours for trade. This was constantly happening in Portugal, partially occupied by the French with Spain conceding, after the Fontainebleau treaty on the 27th of October 1807.
To keep the situation under control, Napoleon sent his forces to Lisboa (Lisbon) which was occupied the 1st. of December without the Portuguese army making any resistance, because they were engaged supporting the escape of the queen, the reigning prince and of all the royal court to Brasil, plus the intervention of the English fleet.
But the first war actions of the Spanish started in 1808. With the pretence to reinforce the French-Spanish army in Portugal, ignoring any political caution, Napoleon kept sending troops occupying Pamplona and
Barcelona in February. Then carrying out old plans, he removed king Carlos IV, exiling the royal family and offering the crown to his brother Joseph Bonaparte.
The political changes and the military occupation caused the people to revolt in insurrection: Madrid citizens fought against the French on the 2nd of May, but the revolt was repressed by Marshal Murat. Retaliations acts went on in other Spanish towns, but the Spanish people resisted with guerrilla acts weakening the French army.
Without Napoleon wanting it, the campaign turned out to be between “a rock and a hard place”, with Wellington and the English-Portuguese from one side and the Spanish army with the guerrillas from the other side.
In June more French soldiers were sent to Spain: Napoleon believed that by keeping Madrid under control and sending his officers to conquer the larger towns, the legality of his royal appointment could be attained. It was not an easy task: close to Barcelona the Catalan militia caused heavy loss to the French; Girona and
Saragoza resisted; the French won only at Medina on the 14th of July, but a few days later, was defeated at Bailén, causing the French command to retreat from Madrid.
On August the British forces reached Portugal under the command of the Major General Wellington who fought back the French forces on the 21st. of August in the Vimeiro battle. The English navy patrolling the coasts, deprived the French of any support, especially during the siege of Roses in Catalona: the Spanish fortress resisted for more than a month, before the French could conquer it.
Napoleon understanding the gravity of the Bailén battle and the loss of Portugal, led the veterans of the Grand Armée, starting the second campaign, preannounced like " fire and steel avalanche". In November the
French started the offensive which was not an immediate success: the French were defeated at Pancorbo and at Valmaçeda before being successful in the Espinoza battle.
The Spanish militias were attacked by the French cavalry at Burgos and at Tudela on the 23rd and after one week in the Somosierra's battle the Polish cavalry together with Cavalry Guards of Napoleon overcame in a few hours the resistance of the Spanish artillery. The French reached Madrid on the 4th of December and Napoleon entered the town in triumph.
In the meantime Saragoza was under siege, the town fighting with courage and resisting the French until the 20th of February, was titled with "siempre eroica".
The other theatres seeing fights until the first days of the year, was the Atlantic coast region. The British were retiring, but being informed of the Spanish troops arrival, returned to help, putting the French to flight at Sahagun. Napoleon counterattacked and the English being aware of their numerical inferiority went to their ships at La Coruña. They sailed away from the French, reaching Benavente, where they defeated the Imperial Guard, and while fighting at the coast they were attacked by the French on the 14th of January suffering heavy losses as did the French. The English kept their garrison in Lisboa.
The alternating results of the war lasted until the month of July 1813, when Wellington winning in the Pireneus battle, decreed the end of the French occupation in Spain.
In that war Generals and Marshals used their experience and skills, applying various strategies They fought with honour and counterattacked after any defeat,  considering every battle action to be a determining factor in the war.
It is to them that Davide Pedersoli dedicates a gun for the fifth year of commemoration “10 years of collection” a gun that two hundred years ago, was synonymous of elegance , prestige, pride of ownership and a particular boast for any officer.
A time when the famous gun manufacturers were known for their creation styles in the different European countries, it is easy to think that the French pistols produced to equip the officers, had an effect equal to the Grand Armée expansion.
The 2008 commemorative gun serves to remind us of the bravery and tactical skills of all the
French, Spanish, English and Portuguese commandants engaged since the first year of the "peninsular war".
It is a flintlock model .45 calibre smooth bore, barrel 267 mm long. On the lock two lines engraved with MANUF RE / a Versailles; the barrel has the writing Boutet Directeur Artiste. The grip with fine checkering on the sides gives a robust grip sensation and is completed with a metal butt plate reproducing a “Medusa head” of the typical Boutet school. The gun is equipped with single set trigger. The 2008 commemorative pistol will be produced in a limited series of 500 units addressed to the French, Italian and German collectors receiving the following series (F001-F200 for France, I001-I200 for Italy and D001-D100 for Germany). Each gun has its own certificate of authenticity on parchment paper. The collectors that purchased 2004 - 2007 commemorative guns will have the right to obtain the same series number also for the 2008. On request there is available a display case with inside lining and a glass lid with the xerographic Meduse head.

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