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Old 14th June 2021, 01:35 PM   #1
Rikkn
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Default Spanish Grenade / Signaling Cannon ??

This came into my " shop " yesterday. Need help identifying it, and interpreting the proof marks. The claim is that it is a 17th century Spanish signaling cannon / grenade launcher. The base is not original. I cannot find anything on the proof marks. It is bronze, approx. 7" long , with a 2" bore. Any comments / ideas appreciated !!
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Old 14th June 2021, 01:36 PM   #2
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More pictures.
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Old 14th June 2021, 06:01 PM   #3
M ELEY
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Hello Rikkn. I am no expert on cannons, but i can tell you yours is a coehorn, or mortar and definitely more than just a signal gun. It would indeed have fired a small shell/grenade/carcass, basically any bomb with a lit fuse. They were small and portable, used in land combat, but also light enough that they were used on ships. They were often carried up into the 'tops' in order to lob shells onto an enemy's deck (when closing in, not once the ships were close enough to board). Unfortunately, I have no idea if this piece is particularly old, as they do still make modern repros. It does have a nice patina and some minor pitting, so I think it is authentic to the period. It would date to 18th to the turn of the next century (there were certainly even earlier examples, but yours looks more refined than 'earlier' models). The stamps look authentic, but again, I'm no expert on such, so hopefully our cannon enthusiasts will chime in!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coehorn
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Old 14th June 2021, 08:43 PM   #4
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It is a model of a mortar, and represents their general style rather than being an exact scale model. It has been cast & then turned on a lathe, the band around the trunnions still has the as cast surface, it cannot be got at while spinning on a lathe. Its age is difficult to determine as artillery model making is still very popular to this day.
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Old 14th June 2021, 08:55 PM   #5
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Great info M ELEY & Adrian.
A Coehorn it is. Adrian, are you saying it is not old ? Like a reproduction ?
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Old 15th June 2021, 12:45 AM   #6
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Yikes! Adrian is right. I wasn't paying attention to the size you listed, so it is a model. Some of these could be quite old, though-
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Old 15th June 2021, 04:12 PM   #7
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Model or not...I would load and fire it. Looks like it can take a punch.
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Old 15th June 2021, 04:28 PM   #8
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By calling it a model, does that mean it is as a reproduction ? Not original ? Any I.D. on the proof marks ?
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Old 15th June 2021, 09:29 PM   #9
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There is no real way that I am aware of that will determine when it was made, it could be 50 years old or 150. Those are not proof marks, merely decoration stamped by its maker.
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Old 17th June 2021, 05:21 PM   #10
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Any idea of what the value is ?
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Old 17th June 2021, 06:39 PM   #11
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No values discussed here, Rikkn ... as per rules.
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Old 17th June 2021, 06:55 PM   #12
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Red face

Oops !!!!
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Old 19th June 2021, 06:08 PM   #13
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Judging by the patina in the bore and near the touch hole, I'd say its been fired in recent years.
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Old 22nd June 2021, 04:03 PM   #14
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A couple of pounds of Black Powder, some pool balls, or small tennis balls and you'd be set for the Fourth of July just in time.
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Old 23rd June 2021, 12:00 AM   #15
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Based loosely on the patina and verdigris inside the barrel, I could believe it's pre-1900 or so. Model cannons weren't really reproductions, but more like toy models of an item (or, to a higher degree, salesmen's samples if they were extremely accurate). They do have value and are quite collectable, but a search of the web should give you a ballpark idea. Being that this is a mortar and not the more common cannon models, it would appeal to a specific collector.
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Old 28th June 2021, 05:36 PM   #16
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Very nice item! As said here before, it is a reduced size mortar - or actually a howitzer, as the trunnions are set in the middle of the (very) short barrel, and the elevating angle is limited. Blackpowder age mortars have the trunnions set on their back end, thus enabling a very high angle of fire. Small scale artillery is a side-interest of mine, having a small collection. These were NOT considered as children's toys usually, being fully operable - this one has a considerable destructive force. However, royal kids could have played with such. Miniature artillery for kids did exist, these are very small (mostly ~2" long) and crude cast barrels for making noise, sometimes being dug-up in excavations, sewage etc.
`Real` small scale artillery was also used as salesmen samples, and especially in military academies, for war plans and demo drills. The are considerable collections of them in military museums, sometimes not on display, or just put aside in minor displays - Musee de L'armee in Paris has an exquisite collection for example.
This item here has an apparently old barrel, affixed to a rather new carriage.
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Old 30th June 2021, 08:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
A couple of pounds of Black Powder, some pool balls, or small tennis balls and you'd be set for the Fourth of July just in time.
Just in time for the neighbors to call the conquistadors.
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