Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Apart from this ball dated 1552, there is only one other known fact of dated cannon balls. Duke Julius of Brunswick is known for having iron slag balls cast with the date 1575 and his monogram HJH in ligature.
I will find out and post something about them later.
In my opinion, only the individual historical importance of a certain date could account for such a phenomenon as dating cannon balls. This might have been a centenary, the dawning of an important battle, or even may have been done after winning a victory and in remembrance.
The provenance of the wrought iron ball is quite clear as only the smiths Sebald and Peter Pögl are known to have made such things. They soon refused to continue though because the toil was too hard and the strength of the bullets was evidently not worth the effort.
All the best,