Royal Navy
Ships Iron Signal Cannon
George III

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left side of cannon image
Right side of cannon image

 This signal cannon shown above with raised and lowered barrel
is a miniature example of those used by the Royal Navy in the 18th and 19th Centuries when iron replaced bronze. 

The workmanship is of very high quality making it an exceptional buy.


Presented is a finely made iron
signal cannon replicating the type that was used by the British Royal Navy during the 18th and early 19th Centuries on
the gun decks of Ship’s of the Line. Notice that it’s design closely follows the drawing above from the Royal
Armoury archives of a 17th Century cannon.

Miniature cannons like this
were made for for actual use or by the foundry as an example of its work.  There are no foundry markings, but
it has a large embossed cartouche of a “GR” cypher beneath the symbol of the British Royal
Crown. The G may indicate King George III who served from 1738 until 1820. This is well within the date of this barrels manufacture.
The touch hole can be seen at the far right.

Picture of the George Rex seal on this cannon image

Unusual for an iron barrel, the
pleasing green patina ranges with only minor variations in shade over the cannon’s length. The original carriage
is made from Oak and is fitted with brass hardware. The bore is free to the touch hole, and shows no evidence
of being fired.

The design has the characteristics
of the most noteworthy examples of Royal Navy cannons of the 18th and early early 19th Centuries which include:

  • Prominent
    cascabal knob

  • Reinforced chamber

  • Lower than centerline trunnions

  • Five reinforcing

This cannon is
being offered for display only and should not be fired unless inspected by a gunsmith

Cannon viewed from the left back image Cannon viewed from the right front image


The trunnions are located below
the center of the tube and date the design to before 1725.  The introduction of the Cronstedt system
coincided with the trunnions being located at the mid level of the inner chamber. Before this, they had been
placed below the centerline.


Cannon Length overall   20 1/2
Length Barrel    20 1/2″                         Bore 7/8″
or.88 Cal
Maximum diameter of tube   3 1/4″     At 1st
ring 2 1/4″  Weight of cannon 30 pounds
Carriage 12 1/2″ L x 9″ W x  6 1/2

” high 

Back of cannon image

PROVENANCE:  The cannon was acquired in the normal course of business at an auction.

Overhead view of cannon image

CONDITION:  The green patina seems to be naturally aged and
has an even green cast over the length which is unusual for an iron barrel. The brass trunnion caps and axel pins are
bright. The touch hole is free to the bore. The wood carriage is in excellent condition, but is missing
its aiming block. A replacement has been supplied. The right trunnion cap does not lay flat and its anchor pin is broken
off. There some minor marks of age as expected. There are no mold marks or inscriptions other than
the Royal crown and GR initials as described in detail in the second paragraph.

This  fine example is being sold for display purposes only. No attempt should be made to fire it
without inspection by a gunsmith.


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Shipping & Packaging

The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, will be calculated point to point and is an additional charge. You may email us to get these costs. We price our shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost of packaging materials and handling.

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If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in its original packaging. Return items must be insured for their full value. Only a prior email authorization by us for the return is required. Shipping charges are refundable if due to our error within the continental United States.

International buyers welcome, but inquire first. We have satisfied customers worldwide.

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Bank wire transfer, cashier’s check, money order, or personal check in which case the item will be held until cleared. Our prices are quoted net to us so that the use of credit cards or PayPal incur extra charges. Terms on overseas sales are different.

Established in 2003

Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques

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