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Old 10th March 2018, 12:34 PM   #1
Marcus den toom
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Default 16th century siege mortar of Francis I

First appearing in the earliest times of firearms, records state mortars to have been developed during the 14th century. These where of hoop and stave construction like all the bigger cannons at those times. From the mid 15th century France, as one of the first, began to cast their cannons and mortars in founderies.

Francis the I of France was born from the noble house of Volois in 1494. Their coat of arms that of crest with three golden lillies. Francis also chose a personal symbol as a display of his unquestioned power, that of the salamander. Starting in the medieval times Salamanders where revered as beast of great power and immunite to fire. In France they also held more importance in folklore, beeing beast that could poison things by merely walking on it (like water wells and fruit trees).

Francis held a high regard for the arts and the new ideas of the Renaissance. He contracted famous artist like Leonardo da Vinci and build magnificant buildings. He also was the protector of letters, building a royal library and writing his own poems.
His predecessor started the "italian wars" which where continued by Francis. The conquest of the papal states and the hatred of his adversary Charles the V would ultimatly bring his doom as he was defeated and captured at the battle of Pavia in 1525.





http://www.vdsk.eu/Galerie/Gesch%C3%BCtzgalerie.htm
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Old 10th March 2018, 12:35 PM   #2
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The mortar in question is shown below.

This mortar bears the three lilies of the house of Volois including a papal globus cruciger. On top of the barrel is also lifting handle in the shape of a salamander. This figure is identical to salamanders of Francis I. The back has the same rolled ridge, the head has a long snout and a high forehead.

The powder chamber is 5 by 9cm (176 cubic cm) with a 27 by 14,8cm bore. The outside measures 40cm long.

The base measures 60 by 40 cm and is of oak dovetailed and iron reinforced construction. The carriage was originally painted bright blue and white/yellow. On a few places this is still visible, V striped of interchanging blue and white.
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Old 10th March 2018, 12:52 PM   #3
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A closeup of the painted oaken carriage.

The carriage is also closely related to this one of king Ludwig II, son of Wladyslaw II (dated 1515).
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Old 10th March 2018, 04:29 PM   #4
fernando
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Lovely little thing, Marcus .
I wonder what would be the freight cost to send this beast down to my neck of the woods .
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Old 10th March 2018, 06:06 PM   #5
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Hi Nando,

Well it weighs around a 100kilos so it wont be cheap.. by now you better just come and live at our place
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Old 10th March 2018, 06:14 PM   #6
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Geen probleem .
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Old 13th March 2018, 01:08 PM   #7
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Fine mortar and interesting history. Thank you for cheering Marcus !
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