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Old 2nd August 2014, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default Replicated 15th C. Bohemian 2pdr breech-block cannon

I crafted this piece as a sculpture from an illustration in my oversized hard cover ca.1953 first edition English translation of Medieval, Costume, Armour and Weapons by Wagner, Drobna, Durdik and Layton. Printed in Czechoslovakia.

In the middle of the winter of '81 with the snow deep and I with "cabin-fever" and work I did not feel in the mood to do, had the bright idea to build a cannon. So off I went to visit my friend, a 2nd generation German blacksmith at his forge and asked if I could borrow the use of it for a month. After he found out why I was going to stoke-up the coals, I couldn't keep him away from my project. At the same time, I presented a Scottish wheelwright friend with my drawings for the stock. He promptly felled a tree behind his home before the sap would rise and proceeded to saw it into timber, air dry it and fashion it into lumber that he as a skilled carpenter, turned into the stock.

And so, the Lion's Paw was born.

Early cannon were given personal names because individual characteristics between cannon of the same class varied e.g. bore diameter. One had to call for shot for the "LION'S PAW" and not just a "falcon" because the falcon class "lion" could be a little different. The Scottish King was killed when his favourite cannon, a breech-block named the Lion, exploded and killed he and the Earl of Angus as well as sundry others. Since I was kilted, I named my smaller beast the Lion's Paw, (among other reasons).

The breech is adorned with a square and compass; alchemist symbols as illustrated in a treatise by Basile Valentine, a 15th c. monk and alchemist.

Early gunners were civilians, not military men who were looked upon as sorcerers, since the discovery of gun powder was not attributed to human intervention but that of a Devilish agency.

Alchemists were early on, associated with artillery. Freemasonry was begun by alchemists who needing a place to meet and to join a recognized group as required by english law, so they joined the guild of working Masons as "accepted" gentleman masons. It was the law of the day, that one had to be registered with the Crown to have meetings.

In 1619, Robert Moray, Quartermaster General of the Covenenter Army of Scotland, joined the London Lodge and in 1641 Alexander Hamilton, General of Artillery joined as an Accepted Mason in the Edinburgh Lodge.

The "lion's paw" is significant in the final step in alchemy and the final degree in Freemasonry's allegory of and allegory.

Early cannon were often sponsored by and or commissioned by individuals, Guilds or groups who would have their heraldic achievements appended to the commissioned piece of artillery.

Artillerest tended to be older men who kept themselves apart from common soldiery. Part of their commission often was the acquisition of captured stone and metals. The so called "banks" of which, were churches with bells that were recast into cannon and statues, pillars, etc. turned into shot.

Russian artillerists called my Falcon class with its load of hail-shot (stone and metal scrap) "Instigators" as they opened the battle by spraying the enemies front line with deadly hail.

I am not tightfisted with my images. I haven't published threats of prosecution. I have attempted to make them clear, should you wish to build your own piece. I should have kept my patterns but never figured that anyone else would be nuts enough to create and trailer a 6oo pound 8 foot long by 4 foot wide beast with a 30 pound breech block, 15 pound wedge and 120 pound barrel that is built around a 2.5" tube, encased in iron bars that are wrapped in a second sheet steel tube that is banded with iron hoops.

Your require method for inserting images is more that I care to master at this time. I prefer to click an image in my album and have it automatically transferred without copying text. Sorry but I am 15th c. and not a computer person.[IMG]http://[/IMG]

Last edited by Robert; 3rd August 2014 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 3rd August 2014, 09:48 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Halstenbek, Germany
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Hello morko-man

Thanks for your first thread. We are very curious to see the images of your reconstructed canon. Especially I am very interested as I am anxiously waiting to receive our reconstructed muzzle loader handgonne which should be ready this month.

Adding images is realy easy in this forum. Please click the button [Manage Attachments] which you will find in the Frame Additional Options below the opened text editor for enering new contributions. A new frame opens where you can select 6 Images from you computer. Then click the button [Upload] and finally submit you post. - Good luck!
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