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Old 29th November 2010, 01:05 PM   #1
fernando
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Default A stone cannon ball for coments

This is a "pelouro" quoted to be from the XIV-XV century.
I guess is limestone, but i am not certain; it is not granite, that i can see.
With a diameter of 19 cms (7,5"), it weighs 7,8 Kgs., this is already the caliber of a significant "stoner" cannon.
Assuming its origin is Germany, once i acquired it in a German auctioner (with somebody's help ), its virtual weight should be quoted in Pfund (German for pound), but i ignore its correspondence to the Kilogram that ran in the period ... a span of 410 to 500 grams is possible.
I wonder whether the cavalry is around, to come and save me from all such doubts.
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Old 29th November 2010, 03:04 PM   #2
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So here comes the 7th Cavalry, 'Nando,

Admittedly being that certain somebody who sent you the link on this ball , I can but congratulate you on the purchase.

Your description is perfectly correct, this visibly is limestone (note the characteristic porosity of the material) and the diameter is impressive; it's about double the size of the stone ball I have and seems to have been used in a heavy and early stone cannon (Steinbüchse), 14th to early 15th century.

These items are very rare to find these days, and as always you have found the perfect stand for the exhibition of your pelouro.

I attach a drawing of 1411 (cod.vind. 3069) of the act of wedging (Verschoppen) a stone ball with pieces of poplar wood, for maximum gas pressure. The Italian fresco of ca. 1340 (!) shows the ignition of a stone throwing cannon which is not yet mounted on a thick board.

Best,
Michl
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Old 30th November 2010, 03:48 PM   #3
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And a similar illustration of wedging a gun (medieval German: puchsen), 1411, in color.
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Old 30th November 2010, 05:08 PM   #4
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i read an account of the battle of agincourt, and some of the history leading up to it recently. a synopsis follows:

the french were besieging Soissons, an english defended city nominally under the rule of a french faction, the burgundians, that sided with the english, defended by some english archers, and some mercenary gunners. it described them placing a gun in a tower overlooking the french camp.

meanwhile the french were getting off a rapid fire from their siege cannon, a whopping three rounds per day, they had to wait for the wet clay and straw mix wadding to dry before they could fire.

anyhow, the english cannon, described as made from forged and welded bars of iron re-enforced by hoops of iron, was apparently in a fairly rusted and pitted condition, having been stored in the basement without much care. it was 'twice as long as a bow-stave' and 'hooped like an ale pot', resting on a wooden carriage.

they mentioned it was tapered (much like the illustration) because the stone balls were of inconsistent diameter, the taper allowing the ball to get to a place where it fit, assisted by the wadding of soft loam. the gunners loaded the wadding, they waited the requisite time for the wadding to dry out before the stone ball was inserted, and wedged it in place with small wooden wedges to keep the stone ball from falling out if the rear was elevated & to ensure it was held tight against the wadding and powder charge.

the gonne was considered a demon due to it's sulphurous breath on firing, so a priest was brought up to it to bless it with holy water and, to ensure no devilry ensued, he stayed. the senior gunner then primed the cannon with a stripped goose quill filled with powder, fired the cannon with a long taper, it promptly blew up, killing the crew and the priest. the city fell when one of the english lords sold out to the french and opened the gates.
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Old 30th November 2010, 06:10 PM   #5
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Splendid pictures, Michl
I confess i wouldn't figure out what those "wedgers" were doing, unless enlightened in an objective context.

The farther i would reach was the bagging of stone balls in cloth sacks, with the common purpose to seal the gases.
Assuming that, at such stage, by the discoveries period, one to two centuries after Agincourt, cannons were certainly stronger and balls would probably be more thoroughly made, other "stuffing" materials were possibly no longer needed.
I was also aware that "pedreiros" (stoner cannons) had a chamber narrower than the bore, thus named "encamaradas" or "de releixo" (enchambered or relaxed).
OTOH, this wouldn't impede the quick damaging of barrels with such "harsh" ammunition. The Portuguese discoverers have circumstancially found a solution to diminish the problem, by melting and recasting the barrels after every hundred shots, something that could be done in foundries established in places like Goa, Cochim, Melaka and Macao.

Thank you for the fantastic and comprehensive Agincourt battle synopsis, Wayne. It is of great importance for cannon enthusiasts perusal. I will save it together with the record of the cannon ball discussed here.
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Old 30th November 2010, 06:22 PM   #6
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Hi Fernando,
That lovely cannonball looks awfully lonely, needs company I think and sooner rather than later. I'm sure your wife will be perfectly understanding.
Kind Regards,
Norman.
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Old 30th November 2010, 06:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
... That lovely cannonball looks awfully lonely ...

Lonely ???
Just because this one is (lime) stone and the others in the house are iron?
Do i feel some discrimination here ?

.
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Old 30th November 2010, 06:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Lonely ???
Just because this one is (lime) stone and the others in the house are iron?
Do i feel some discrimination here ?

.


Discrimination, not at all but if you really want to make Rocks Roll you need more than one Stone.
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Old 30th November 2010, 10:44 PM   #9
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That's definitely right, Norman!

m
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Old 30th November 2010, 11:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
i read an account of the battle of agincourt, and some of the history leading up to it recently. a synopsis follows:

the french were besieging Soissons, an english defended city nominally under the rule of a french faction, the burgundians, that sided with the english, defended by some english archers, and some mercenary gunners. it described them placing a gun in a tower overlooking the french camp.

meanwhile the french were getting off a rapid fire from their siege cannon, a whopping three rounds per day, they had to wait for the wet clay and straw mix wadding to dry before they could fire.

anyhow, the english cannon, described as made from forged and welded bars of iron re-enforced by hoops of iron, was apparently in a fairly rusted and pitted condition, having been stored in the basement without much care. it was 'twice as long as a bow-stave' and 'hooped like an ale pot', resting on a wooden carriage.

they mentioned it was tapered (much like the illustration) because the stone balls were of inconsistent diameter, the taper allowing the ball to get to a place where it fit, assisted by the wadding of soft loam. the gunners loaded the wadding, they waited the requisite time for the wadding to dry out before the stone ball was inserted, and wedged it in place with small wooden wedges to keep the stone ball from falling out if the rear was elevated & to ensure it was held tight against the wadding and powder charge.

the gonne was considered a demon due to it's sulphurous breath on firing, so a priest was brought up to it to bless it with holy water and, to ensure no devilry ensued, he stayed. the senior gunner then primed the cannon with a stripped goose quill filled with powder, fired the cannon with a long taper, it promptly blew up, killing the crew and the priest. the city fell when one of the english lords sold out to the french and opened the gates.



Hi Wayne,

Your great source quote does deserve being cited and repeated here - thank you so much! It's worth reading twice.
I, as Fernando, saved it to my records!

May I add that the Battle of Agincourt took place in the Hundred Years War, on St. Crispin's Day, Friday 25 Oct. 1415, so this source perfectly corresponds to the period artwork of 1411 that I posted.

Best,
Michael

Last edited by Matchlock : 30th November 2010 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 30th November 2010, 11:33 PM   #11
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Hi 'Nando,

Just feel safe: nobody would dare to discriminate you because of your outstanding collection of balls!

If anybody did, I would load all my medieval guns and come on ridin' over with all the muzzles a-blazin' to save you, just like the Seventh Cavalry you asked for!


Best,
Michl

Last edited by Matchlock : 1st December 2010 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 1st December 2010, 12:12 PM   #12
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.



.
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Old 1st December 2010, 01:32 PM   #13
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Great!!!
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Old 1st December 2010, 01:37 PM   #14
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Old 2nd December 2010, 12:43 AM   #15
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Oh yeah, Norman,

'Nando sure has the best selection of smiley icons!

m
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Old 2nd December 2010, 06:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
Hi Wayne,

Your great source quote does deserve being cited and repeated here - thank you so much! It's worth reading twice.
I, as Fernando, saved it to my records!

May I add that the Battle of Agincourt took place in the Hundred Years War, on St. Crispin's Day, Friday 25 Oct. 1415, so this source perfectly corresponds to the period artwork of 1411 that I posted.

Best,
Michael


to connect the two, the explosive incident i mentioned occurred at the siege of Soissons in 1414, after the french entered the town, French forces committed a notorious massacre of English archers stationed at the town's garrison after they had surrendered, in which many of the French townsfolk were themselves raped and killed. The massacre of French citizens by French soldiers shocked Europe; Henry V of England, noting that the town of Soissons was dedicated to the saints Crispin and Crispinian, claimed to avenge the honour of the saints when he met the French forces at the Battle of Agincourt on St Crispin's Day 1415.

Last edited by kronckew : 2nd December 2010 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 2nd December 2010, 08:23 PM   #17
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Thank you very much, Wayne, for making this clear.

Apart from that, and concerning your avatar: your rubber ducky might be somewhere around your bathtub ...

Best,
Michael
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Old 3rd December 2010, 09:45 AM   #18
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rubber ducky is a rubber chinese running duck, he is currently running around europe searching for the best beer. he has not as yet been to Freistoot Boarn as he does have some trouble running up the steep mountains. when he gets there, please hide your unmarried women (especially the ducky ones). he can be lured away with a good grasshopper wurst tho, he prefers his with mustard instead of curry sauce. i do suspect he is armed, er... winged, and dangerous, (one of my shorter parangs and a helmet were missing around the time of his departure)

so do not approach him directly, but let me know if you see him. he was last seen in baden-baden, where he sent me this photo:

he said he had a great time at the spa.

he is a master of disguise, so i expect he might try to blend in with the crowd in bavaria, here is an artists representation of his possible appearance.


he sent this one from cologne a few weeks ago.


his appearance on the football pitch was luckily not noted due to his disguise blending so well with the locals.

his other disguises:



so be careful, by the time you read this he could be disguised as someone near and dear to you. if they start sounding a bit like a duck, be very very suspicious. do not let him eat after midnight.

p.s. - i repeat, do NOT feed him after midnight.

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Old 3rd December 2010, 06:17 PM   #19
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Wayne,
.....the guys with the white overcoats ... are on their way....something about 'the funny farm' ... .

Regards David
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Old 30th March 2011, 03:59 PM   #20
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Default Three 14th/15th Stone Cannon Balls in the Netherlands Army Museum

From Puype/Stevens: Arms and Armour of Knights and Landsknechts, 2010.

Best,
Michael
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Old 30th March 2011, 04:09 PM   #21
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Thank you for that, Michl
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