Minature Cannon Barrel
on a Rustic Sailor Made Carriage

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This antique miniature ships cannon barrel probably dates from about 1690. Probably made in England, the barrel has no specific markings.

Presented
is a bronze miniature cannon barrel which is mounted on a very rustic and interesting oak wood carriage. The trunnions are placed below the centerline of the barrel which indicates that it was likely made prior to 1725. The barrel has a very pleasing aged patina and sits on a wood carriage with cast iron wheels and fittings. It also has a long iron chain at the rear which is think held it when firing.SIGNIFICANCE
OF TRUNNION PLACEMENT: Trunnions are the cylinders projecting from the side of the tube. They were first introduced in cannons in 1705. Their placement on the barrel helps to date when the cannon was made. Before 1725 they were located low down as in this case. 1725, is when the so-called Cronstedt system was established. After the Cronstedt system was established, trunnions were placed at the middle of the tube just forward of the center of mass. Based on the location of the trunnions, it can be concluded that most cannons with this placement were likely cast before 1725. When it comes to the building material of the cannons, the Cronstedt system focused on those made out of iron only. Since this cannon is of bronze, the dating is not entirely conclusive and we believe it was made late in the seventeenth century.

This fine old cannon is being sold for display purposes only. No attempt should be made to fire it!

DIMENSIONS:

Cannon Length overall  20 1/2″                 Width of Carriage 14″         Overall Weight 20 Lbs, 5 oz
Length barrel
10 1/2″                Bore
3/4″

Diameter at last reinforcing band 2 1/4″  Diameter at 1st reinforcing
band 1 1/2″Maximum Width
3.39″                   Carriage  21″ x 14″ x 8″

CONDITION: The touch hole is open to the bore. The original rustic oak wood carriage is in excellent condition. There are few marks of age and the finish is quite smooth.The bronze has a pleasing and fairly uniform patina with some small areas on the underside of the barrel showing black.There are no foundry marks. There is some verdigris around the touch hole.


The rustic hand carved carriage has a personality all its own, and we’ve not seen one just like this before. With its iron wheels and weight, it is quite sturdy. We are assuming the the chain link in the rear was used to secure the cannon when fired.


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