Fine American Bronze barrel Signal Cannon, Ca. 1860
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This is an especially well formed and finely constructed substantial size muzzle loading signal cannon, circa 1860, based on naval cannon design of the period.
Cannon shots were a regular form of ship to ship and ship to shore communication from the time of the invention of gunpowder through the early twentieth century. Signal cannon are still used to start yacht races. Up through the time of the Civil War the more substantial ones like this were sometimes used as armament on ship's boats.
This impressive cannon is modeled on the US Navy Dahlgren 6-inch gun of the Civil War. The bronze barrel is quite heavy and has a bore of aprox .80 caliber/10 guage. The barrel is fitted with a proper screw elevation mechanism. The barrel is in excellent original condition with fine age patina.
The finely proportioned brass mounted cherry wood carriage is constructed in 'lifts' like builder's half-models of the period rather than having its sides cut from one piece of wood. This form of construction was an aid to prevention of cracks and splits but was more difficult to build than the usual carriage. The brass mountings are of the highest quality including covered trunion caps. The carriage and mountings are in excellent condition retaining original finish and a fine old surface.
It is obvious this cannon was intended to be a superior piece when built and may well have been ordered for a luxury yacht of the period.
A handsome and impressive piece for the collector of marine antiques and/or cannon.
Dimensions: overall length 17", width 7 1/2", height 9", barrel length 15", bore 10ga., breech dia. 2 5/8", muzzle dia 1 1/2", weight 17 lbs.