Antique Naval Signal Cannon Breech Loader

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Made in the style of their period or replicating
their larger brethren, small signal cannons were generally

used on ship and on shore to make salutes, to warn of danger, and to attract attention in the case of an emergency. They were
also used to start yacht races. 

Presented is an iron, breech
loading naval signal cannon on an iron carriage. Its design resembles the Hotchkiss 3 and 6 pounders of 1885 and also others
such as a single shell Maxim-Nordenfelt of the same era.
carriage was originally painted and the finish is heavily crackled. The tube has a dark greenish grey to black patination


The signal cannon is a miniature iron, breech loader, on an iron carriage. LOA 18 inches, Bore 13 mm, weighing 14 lbs. It
is a functioning miniature likely made by a foundry as a sample of how the full size cannon would appear. It was
designed for black powder and the touch hole appears in a number of photos. It was also suitable as a signal or salute cannon.
It may be a Hotchkiss or foundry sample such as the picture on the left which is a museum display and not for sale.
It is shown for the similarity in design.


The proportions are typical of a British warship’s smaller deck guns. This represents a fine example of an iron miniature working cannon with excellent detail and proportions. However, it is being sold as an
antique display piece and should not be fired without having a gunsmith inspect it.



We estimate its age as at least 126 years old. 



CONDITION: The cannon shows marks
of its age, but is in overall fine condition. Note in the pictures of the breech that the cascabal has a crack. This does not affect the functionality
of the cannon.
However, it is sold for display only. The trunnions are cast as part of the barrel which is
customary and the trunnion caps are present. There are no mold marks or inscriptions.
Iron Cannon
18″           Length overall 
Length barrel
14 1/2″     Bore
13 MM
Diameter at muzzle     1“
Diameter at breech      2“
Diameter at 2nd step  1 1/8“
Weight of cannon        14 pounds  


This exceedingly fine example is being sold for display purposes
only, and no attempt should be made to fire it.

13 MM Bore

Breech Plug 



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Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques

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