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Old 7th April 2019, 01:49 PM   #1
Kmaddock
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Default Miniature cannon with proofmarks

Hi all
Just picked up the following cute little item.
It is 8.5 cm long and bore is approx 5 mm

Bit outside my area but the presence of proof marks is what attracted me mostly.
I assume anyway that they are proofmarks just in front of the touch hole.

So does anyone have any idea if they are proofmarks and if so from what era would the item date.

I assume it is a child’s toy or would they normally have proof marks on them and if it is not a toy what other purpose would it have.

Thanks in advance, I was not sure if this is on topic for European Armour and if not sorry and Fernando please move to correct forum.

Regards

Ken
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Old 7th April 2019, 03:06 PM   #2
fernando
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Cute piece indeed Ken,
I tell you what;
Assuming this could be a real tiny cannon for whatever purpose we leave it in this forum for possible identification.
If it results to be a toy or a non functional miniature, implicating that those proof marks are a fantasy, then we move it to the Miscellania forum, for different appreciation.
Meanwhile, have you tried to blow through the barrel, checking if the air goes out by the touch hole ? Generally in toys or replicas it doesn't.
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Old 7th April 2019, 03:31 PM   #3
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I notice the piece is lathe turned and seperate lugs added on. So it seems to be a later piece rather than a more original method of manufacturing through casting; as far as which era it may be from.
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Old 7th April 2019, 03:47 PM   #4
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Hi Ken,

As Fernando said, it could be a toy due to its tiny size. That being said,I think it could still be a miniature signal gun. Some were indeed diminutive and were used to signal the hour on ships, serve as alarm clocks of the day. Here's a wiki page with an example cannon like yours. If it were only a toy, I don't think it would have the English proofs like yours. Congratulations on the neat find!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundial_cannon

Last edited by M ELEY : 7th April 2019 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 7th April 2019, 06:09 PM   #5
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Rather plausible, Mark.
The dimensions of that device are Height: 18 cm (7 ″); Diameter: 31 cm (12.2 ″); Ken's cannon looks proportional.
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Old 7th April 2019, 06:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MitsuWa.
I notice the piece is lathe turned and seperate lugs added on. So it seems to be a later piece rather than a more original method of manufacturing through casting; as far as which era it may be from.

Good points to consider, MitsuWa !
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Old 7th April 2019, 07:19 PM   #7
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Hi All
Thanks for your opinions.
I can blow through the barrel and out the touch hole, so it could be used
Looking at it under a strong magnifying glass there is none of the circular markings going all the way round, sone near the touch hole though. So I do not think it was turned on a lathe I think the main barrel is cast.

It does look like the lugs were soldered into the sides of the cannon rather than cast. As to weather this makes it a later piece I do not know.

Mark you say British proof marks , well done if you can form an opinion from my terrible photography, if they are British have you any opinion on date.

The cost was minimal and I have learned from what I have found out about signal guns so a nice buy either way.

Regards to all.

Ken
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Old 7th April 2019, 08:16 PM   #8
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Sundial cannon ?
A day late and a dollar short again.. sigh.

Last edited by Rick : 7th April 2019 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 7th April 2019, 08:21 PM   #9
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Those are definitely London proof house marks. To date it look at the style- loosely based on an Armstrong rifled muzzle loader c.1850's maybe?
These proof marks are for shotguns, but you can sort of see similarities
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Old 7th April 2019, 08:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Sundial cannon ?
A day late and a dollar short again.. sigh.

Sic erunt novissimi primi .
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Old 7th April 2019, 09:00 PM   #11
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I have no idea of the age of that particular one but they do still make them and proof them for the miniature cannon shooting discipline in the UK.

https://www.mlagb.com/canon-section/

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