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Old 8th September 2014, 09:27 PM   #1
dana_w
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Default Breech-Loading Swivel Gun / Cannon For Comment

I don't know a lot about breech-loading swivel guns / cannon. This one appears to be of the type that were made in (or for use in) the East Indies.

After photographing the cannon last week, I misplaced my measurements. But it seems to me that it was about 50 inches long. I will measure again when I visit the storage unit.

These photos are copyright (c) 2014 by Dana K. Williams. All Rights Are Reserved.
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Last edited by dana_w : 8th September 2014 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 8th September 2014, 10:24 PM   #2
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A breech loading 'berço' in a lantaka dress.
Whether made in the West to trade in Asia or made in Asia with a Western touch.
Either an 'aged' non operational item for international trade or local home wealth, or (hardly) the real thing. These devices are a bit tricky to classify.
Experts needed.
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Old 8th September 2014, 10:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
These devices are a bit tricky to classify.
Experts needed.


But Fernando, when it comes to something like this, YOU ARE my expert!
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Old 8th September 2014, 10:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dana_w
But Fernando, when it comes to something like this, YOU ARE my expert!

If i were your expert, my posts would be copyrighted
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Old 8th September 2014, 11:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
If i were your expert, my posts would be copyrighted


I always pay a lot of attention to what you say, even when I don't agree.
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Old 9th September 2014, 02:58 AM   #6
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Hi Dana W,


For stylistic as well as formal reasons, this breechloading bronze cannon barrel is closely datable to ca. 1530-1550; many of these are of Portuguese manufacture - now, does this give you some patriotic satisfaction, Nando?

The zigzag ornamentation cast in high relief and contoured by chiseling, is highly unusual for Asia, while characteristic of the Nuremberg Early Renaissance style.
If made in a Nuremberg foundry, it should be dated to ca. 1525-40.


Please note Nando's thread:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...e+breechloading

and by the author:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ch+loading+1540



Best,
Michael

Last edited by Matchlock : 9th September 2014 at 03:11 AM.
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Old 9th September 2014, 03:27 AM   #7
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Thanks for your comments Michael. Your thread "Breech loading 1450-1550" is one of my favorites here at the forum. It should be required reading.

The muzzle and forward portion of barrel looks like it has been in a fire.
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Old 9th September 2014, 01:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
...For stylistic as well as formal reasons, this breechloading bronze cannon barrel is closely datable to ca. 1530-1550; many of these are of Portuguese manufacture - now, does this give you some patriotic satisfaction, Nando? ...zigzag[/i] ornamentation cast in high relief and contoured by chiseling, is highly unusual for Asia, while characteristic of the Nuremberg Early Renaissance style...If made in a Nuremberg foundry, it should be dated to ca. 1525-40.[
Please note Nando's thread:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...e+breechloading
and by the author:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ch+loading+1540...


May i disagree or confess that i am in the least confused ?
The zigzag (bamboo shoot ) motives are in low relief and are usual for Asia. This would be one of the common components of a Lantaka decoration .

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=lantaka

I agree, as i first mentioned, that the breech loading style is that of a 'berço', a term implying that this would be of Portuguese nature and of the date suggested .
I wouldn't recall the date the lantaka (with such decoration type) appeared but, apart from that and if i may, i still suspect that this whole set may well be a knock off, either for (not so transparent) Web selling purposes or, as often happens, for local use, like for home decoration, wedding dowry, trade currency, etc.
Nowadays artificial ageing of things is far from being discerned by those non initiated, myself for one. Perhaps some solid data on its provenance might help clarify.

.

Last edited by fernando : 9th September 2014 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 9th September 2014, 02:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
I wouldn't recall the date the lantaka (with such decoration type) appeared but, apart from that and if i may, i still suspect that this whole set may well be a knock off, either for (not so transparent) Web selling purposes or, as often happens, for local use, like for home decoration, wedding dowry, trade currency, etc.
Nowadays artificial ageing of things is far from being discerned by those non initiated, myself for one. Perhaps some solid data on its provenance might help clarify.


I wish that I could provide more information on the cannon's provenance. It was purchased by my father about ten years ago from a dealer near Frederick, MD. I have met the dealer a number of times at the Baltimore Arms Collectors Show and will give him a call to see if he can tell me any more.

If you think this piece may have been "artificially aged" Fernando, can you explain why? What do you see in the photos that makes you think that could be the case? Or are you just suspicious of any of these cannons?
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Old 9th September 2014, 02:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dana_w
I wish that I could provide more information on the cannon's provenance. It was purchased by my father about ten years ago from a dealer near Frederick, MD. I have met the dealer a number of times at the Baltimore Arms Collectors Show and will give him a call to see if he can tell me any more.

If you think this piece may have been "artificially aged" Fernando, can you explain why? What do you see in the photos that makes you think that could be the case? Or are you just suspicious of any of these cannons?

If you research a bit on this theme you will find that in 'certain' commercial milieu the ageing of pieces is rather common. Also these lantakas were so popularized that the number of non functional examples out there in the market is, i dare say, a lot higher than those made for battle. It just happened that way; either due to their appeal or/and cultural reasons as, in that region, having lots of those was a good exterior sign of wealth. Therefore for some arms collectors is always important to distinguish whether an example was a real fighting one or a passive device.
And yes, to my eyes a couple contours in this example you posted looks far more decorative than operational ... the wedge vent rims and not only.
But of course, other members with far more knowledge may tell you more about the subject; even simply correct me.
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Old 9th September 2014, 06:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dana_w
Thanks for your comments Michael. Your thread "Breech loading 1450-1550" is one of my favorites here at the forum. It should be required reading.

Thank you so much; I always try to do my very best, sometimes researching, and writing, for three or four days, without any sleep at all ... I will hopefully see my bed tonight ...

The muzzle and forward portion of barrel looks like it has been in a fire.
Exactly!

Best,
Michael
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Old 9th September 2014, 07:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
May i disagree or confess that i am in the least confused ?
The zigzag (bamboo shoot ) motives are in low relief and are usual for Asia. This would be one of the common components of a Lantaka decoration .
.



Of course they are, Nando,


But when they appear on cast-copper alloy barrels (brass or bonze), it is only on items after ca. 1550.

The reason is that they started importing barrels with that zigzag ornament from Nuremberg from the early 16th century. By and by they must have started taking over, and copying, the appearance of those barrels they called lantakas - that "magic" zigzag decoration included.

Very soon, though, their native Indonesian stylistic elements seem to have prevailed, and this, in my opinion, is why you can tell apart an early 16th century barrel from a similar but Indonesia made, within seconds.


Originally, the zigzag ornament goes back to the early 14th century, when it became known as der fränkische Rechen (the Franconian rake), and consequently characteristic of identifying, and representing, the Franconian region by its official coat-of-arms.
Nürnberg has always been the capital of Franconia, as well as the important political, cultural, and economic center.

So this is what that zigzag ornament originally stood for, and was meant to convey to people on far-off continents: the power and unparalleled leading quality, as well as the topic stylistical taste, of all goods that were made in, and exported from, Nuremberg, Franconia.

There was a well-known saying since the 15th century:
"Nürnberger Tand geht in alle Land", meaning: Nuremberg manufactured objects of both everyday use and artwork were exported to the rest of the world - at least the parts known by then.


Attached find two Nuremberg founded brass/bronze haquebut barrels preserved in the Museum of Gerolzhofen, Franconia, that I will introduce in another thread. They both were cast in the 1530's, and one of them is dated 1538 in high relief.
Both show the Franconian rake, as a proof of their Nuremberg manufactured quality.

Could you please point me to a lantaka of such an early date?
I'd be grateful for learning more on their histor.


Best,
Michl


All photos in this post copyrighted by the author, Michael Trömner.



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Last edited by Matchlock : 9th September 2014 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 9th September 2014, 10:08 PM   #13
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Here is another image for your perusal.

This photo is copyright (c) 2014 by Dana K. Williams. All Rights Are Reserved.
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Old 10th September 2014, 11:07 AM   #14
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It's a 15th/16thC portuguese or spanish breechloading swivel cannon.
those 15th and 16th century breechloading cannons look all alike , like peas in a pot.

This type of gun is thought to have been cast in Goa, Portuguese India however they were also produced in Macao during this period.
they were made for the spanish and portuguese.



there are a lot of fakes on the market, whether yours is real unfortunately I can not tell from the pictures.
The core was held in the middle by thin iron wires, during the casting.
perhaps there are still traces of these wires showing on the skin. (small rust spots).


best,
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Old 10th September 2014, 02:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornelistromp
The core was held in the middle by thin iron wires, during the casting.
perhaps there are still traces of these wires showing on the skin. (small rust spots).


Thanks for you comments Cornelistromp.

Here is a closeup which shows a few previously inexplicable spots of rust.
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Old 10th September 2014, 06:34 PM   #16
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Hoi Jasper,
I assume you have a lot more 'mileage' than me in these things; this is the first time i see a typical breech loading chamber combined with a lantaka cannon. Maybe this is common to your eyes, but certainly new to me.
Breech loading 'berços' of various sizes were made by Portuguese (and Spanish) for their ships and auxiliary rowing boats, whereas lantakas were made for trade in Asia.
I would always realize that this atypical device was made to please somebody or anybody, rather than for crude battle
... one of the peas in a pot
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Old 10th September 2014, 07:14 PM   #17
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Hi Fernando,

Here is a nice article that you're sure to love.

http://www.arscives.com/bladesign/history.htm

for a similar cannon as above in #1 please google cannonsuperstore >>>> Spanish cannons

best
jasper
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Old 10th September 2014, 08:42 PM   #18
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Thsnk you so much for the link and for being so thoughtful, Jasper .
As a matter of fact i know Rainer Daehnhardt, with whom i have a fair relation. A lot of knowledge that i transmit here in the forum comes from his books and 'lectures' i receive when i periodicaly visit his shop in Cascais ... as also (a couple times) in his house, where he has an imense (i mean imense) collection.
I am also aware of the article you linked and i also met its author Antonio Cejunior when he came (from Macau) to Portugal to visit his family.

I visited the cannon site you suggested and i saw the cannon you refer; not so 'lantaka style' as the one posted here, i would say ... don't you agree? .

Not pointing at any source in particular, i don't feel safe with determined attributions like antiquity and provenance, specialy when it comes to 'Portuguese' or 'Spanish' cannons conotations ... discoveries period and all that. Indeed cannon foundries were settled in Macau (the famous Bocarro family) but i don't know if the typology produced there is connected with lantakas ... or even 16th century breech loading berços.

Dank u once again
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Old 10th September 2014, 08:58 PM   #19
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A couple (forbidden) pictures connected with the discussed topic in the Daehnhardt farm.

.
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Old 11th September 2014, 08:14 AM   #20
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very nice pictures, thanks, I would love to have garden like this.

the local foundries in SE Asia used local bronze patterns for the cannon decorations.
I believe this deep relief breech decoration points more into the direction of GOA I/o brunei , Malacca, Pahang or European foundries.

a specialist in these eastern patterns might be able to give definite outcome here!

best,
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Old 12th September 2014, 04:57 PM   #21
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Exactly, Jasper,

That's a setting unimaginable to ever surpass ... !

Thanks for showing,
and best,
Michael
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Old 12th September 2014, 08:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornelistromp
very nice pictures, thanks, I would love to have garden like this.

the local foundries in SE Asia used local bronze patterns for the cannon decorations.
I believe this deep relief breech decoration points more into the direction of GOA I/o brunei , Malacca, Pahang or European foundries.

a specialist in these eastern patterns might be able to give definite outcome here!

best,

Not a usual poster here on the European Forum, but here are couple of pics of Lantaka on display at Fort Siloso, Singapore.
Stu
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Old 13th September 2014, 05:51 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornelistromp
very nice pictures, thanks, I would love to have garden like this...

With a few more flowers, maybe ... although of another typology

.
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