Lantakas were popular in the East Indies starting
in the 16th Century, where they were mounted on small ships as swivel guns. In smaller sizes, they also were considered
a form of currency. The small ones were not only intended for use as weapons but were admired for their beauty.
Presented is a large cast bronze cannon
of traditional Lantaka design with a flared barrel at the front. It is decidedly Indonesian in style with
raised floral designs at the front and rear. It has a yoke and pin which makes it a swivel gun for use on
the bulwark of a ship. The extension at the rear was to insert a wooden stick in the hollow tube for aiming. Its proportions
follow that of a ship’s long gun.
This weapon was used as
a fighting gun, or as a signaling device on board a ship.
View from rear
Bore, front and rear sights Barrel, reinforcing bands &
hole with dam HISTORY: Usually the better quality cannons were cast in Holland, Europe and England starting in the 1600’s.
These were finer in detail, design, and quality then those that were made in the Spice Islands. The small ones were
intended as a presentation piece, for personal protection in close in fighting, as a signaling device, or as a form of
currency. The quality of this casting indicates that its origin was in Indonesia from where it was likely made in the 17th