17th Century Ship’s Bronze Swivel Gun Cannon Lantaka

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17th Century Ship’s Bronze Swivel Gun Cannon Lantaka

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 thirty-inch cast bronze cannon of a Lantaka
with the sought-after rare dolphin handles and alligator rear sight, and flared barrel. It is decidedly Indonesian
in style with raised floral designs at the front and rear, but the alligator and dolphins make it very special. 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. LEGAL STATUS: Imported from Malaysia under Export License
Number 1240 dated 29 JUN 2007 issued by the Muzium Sarawak, Jabatan, in accordance with Section 11 of the Sarawak Cultural
Heritage Ordinance of 1993. Cleared by U.S. Customs on July 7, 2007.
CONDITION: The cannon has sight front and rear,
and a rich patina with golden-green overtones. The trunnions are cast as part of the barrel which is traditional.
There are no mold marks, but there are the classic Indonesian floral and geometric designs that accompany the alligator rear
sight and dolphin handles. There is a crack at the end of the swivel pin, but the pin is secure. The touch hole
has a rim around it and is clear to the bore which runs the length of the barrel.
This fine ancient example of a
Lantaka is being sold for display purposes only, and no attempt should be made to fire it. DIMENSIONS: 30″ LOA   11/8″    WEIGHT: 28 lbs

         Touch hole, alligator & dolphins
    Overhead view of cannon
Crack in at the end of swivel pin
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 Century.
This represents an outstanding example of a ancient Lantaka with legal paperwork.

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