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Old 28th July 2022, 09:32 PM   #1
TheCollector
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Default Stone Ball for comments

Hi group , thankyou for allowing me to join this excellent forum ,

question.

what do I have here , granite/stone cannonball?
Hand tooling marks , heavy , almost perfect sphere
Approx 12 inches overall diameter,
No previous history known of this object,

Comments good or bad most welcome
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Old 28th July 2022, 10:21 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, 'collector. Are you sure that ball has a 12 inches diameter. Maybe you mean perimeter ?
My stone balls have circa 7 1/2 inches diameter and no way i could fit them inside the palm of my hand .
... Or am i missing something ? .


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Old 28th July 2022, 11:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply , yes overall diameter with tape measure wrapped around ball
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Old 29th July 2022, 02:09 AM   #4
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I think you mean circumference.
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Old 29th July 2022, 06:32 AM   #5
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Could it also be a catapult projectile as well as a cannonball? The use of mechanical artillery and cannons did overlap for awhile in the late Middle Ages. Or the sphere could be a lot older than that and possibly date from Byzantine or Roman times...
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Old 29th July 2022, 08:25 AM   #6
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What is its backstory? Where did you get it, what were you told about it by the vendor, where are you now? Can you tell what kind of rock it is made from? Provenance is everything.



C=πD (or 2πr), Pi (π) =3.141592654... so



13=3.14159 D
D=13/3,14159=4.138 inches.


I can buy stone spheres made as modern decorative garden ornaments in various sizes. Caveat Emptor.

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Old 29th July 2022, 10:43 AM   #7
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Yes, provenance is the basics with these things; providing such (provenance) is not fabricated. Anyone can tell you that the specimen was brought out by a diver when collecting stuff from a wreck ... or the like.
The ball posted, with its circa 4" diameter, should weigh about, say, 3 pounds and, if it were an artillery item, would fit in a XIV-XVI century small bombard, or a falcon. I guess too small for catapults, though... like those in Sant'Angelo.
Also i realize that, their construction being too regular, doesn't help supporting their genuinity .

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Old 29th July 2022, 09:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies , the back story is that it was found by myself in storage after my mother's passing , anyone else in the family who may have known about it has also passed away some years ago , ive collected militaria for 35 yrs and this definitely caught my attention when I seen it .
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Old 31st July 2022, 12:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando View Post
Yes, provenance is the basics with these things; providing such (provenance) is not fabricated. Anyone can tell you that the specimen was brought out by a diver when collecting stuff from a wreck ... or the like.
The ball posted, with its circa 4" diameter, should weigh about, say, 3 pounds and, if it were an artillery item, would fit in a XIV-XVI century small bombard, or a falcon. I guess too small for catapults, though... like those in Sant'Angelo.
Also i realize that, their construction being too regular, doesn't help supporting their genuinity .

.
Thanks , great information indeed , one concern I had is that it might be a Mill ball , but I think with those the uniform wear is quite different from the hand tooling marks seen on my ball .

It's located in Australia, I know that a few family members did travel the world a few times , but that's pure speculation if it originated overseas
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Old 31st July 2022, 09:40 AM   #10
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Mill (grinding) balls are iron. That's what i feared when i gathered by iron ammo.

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Old 31st July 2022, 01:31 PM   #11
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Old style windmill water pumps used in remote prairie or outback locations for livestock, etc, generally had a speed governor that uses heavy iron balls as part of the mechanism. Some get sold as cannon balls.
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Old 31st July 2022, 04:50 PM   #12
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Those could be easily excluded by the initiated, as they leave visible marks of their suspension rings.
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Old 1st August 2022, 09:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip View Post
Could it also be a catapult projectile as well as a cannonball? The use of mechanical artillery and cannons did overlap for awhile in the late Middle Ages. Or the sphere could be a lot older than that and possibly date from Byzantine or Roman times...
Catapult projectiles are much less dressed, they show lots of dimples and bumps, as they don't have to go through a barrel.
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Old 1st August 2022, 10:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadaxe View Post
Catapult projectiles are much less dressed, they show lots of dimples and bumps, as they don't have to go through a barrel.
... Like in post #7 above. However in certain contexts stone cannon balls were not that perfect. Minding that, when masons went with armies and had to maintain stocks while in field campaign, those didn't come out necessarily perfect. That was the main reason to recast cannons every (circa)100 shots; the barrels were destroyed by the rough load.
For what is worth, here is how Rainer Dahehnardt describes some stone balls (pelouros) in his collection.
The pair on the left are in marble, which were used in small navy 'berços' ; the pair on the right are in granite and were ammo for gross bombards.


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Old 1st August 2022, 11:51 AM   #15
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Excellent reading , I'm always learning.

So the big question, how sure are we it's quite old and made as a projectile ?
Happy to post more pics if needed
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Old 1st August 2022, 02:04 PM   #16
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The trillion $ question .
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Old 1st August 2022, 02:48 PM   #17
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I guess those (more) elected for genuinity are those rescued from sea wrecks; providing the source that cites them is fully reliable *. Nobody will sink ordinary stone spheres down in the ocean to make them old; something they do by burying them under the back yard earth, preferably near acid fruit trees.

*
Like those sources that offer cannons as always Portuguese .
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Old 6th August 2022, 11:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando View Post
... Like in post #7 above. However in certain contexts stone cannon balls were not that perfect. Minding that, when masons went with armies and had to maintain stocks while in field campaign, those didn't come out necessarily perfect. That was the main reason to recast cannons every (circa)100 shots; the barrels were destroyed by the rough load.
For what is worth, here is how Rainer Dahehnardt describes some stone balls (pelouros) in his collection.
The pair on the left are in marble, which were used in small navy 'berços' ; the pair on the right are in granite and were ammo for gross bombards.


.
I agree, the problem is that non-spherical projectile, shot from a cannon, being more hurled than actually shot, loosing range, power and precision.
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Old 6th August 2022, 03:10 PM   #19
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Indeed.
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