The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Cannon
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France
  • c. 1580
  • Bronze
  • Length: 67.2 cm
    Length: 2.6 cm, calibre
    Weight: 8.73 kg
  • A1243
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Small cannon, of cast bronze, ornamented in relief in three sections. On the first reinforce is the armed figure of Mars, on the second Victory with palm and laurel wreath, and on the chase Peace holding aloft an olive branch and standing upon a trophy of arms. Near the vent, between the legs of the figure of Mars, is a small medallion bearing a shield charged with a chevron between three lions (?). The chevron of the coat of arms seems to be charged with some small but illegible devices. The vent, which seems to have been roughly enlarged, is pierced in a grotesque mask. Plain turned mouldings at cascabel and muzzle.

    French, about 1580.

    Provenance: M. Baur (un canon de bronze, 400 fr.; receipted bill, 20 November, 1865); Comte de Nieuwerkerke (This would equally well refer to A1244).

    The figures on this cannon are somewhat in the style of Germain Pilon.

    A suprising number of cannon of this pattern survive, see Carpegna, Firearms, 1975, no. 68, for a list of comparable pieces. There is a similar cannon in the Musée de Cluny (no. 766). A pair complete with carriages were in the collection of the Baron de Cosson and were traditionally supposed to have been a present to Queen Elizabeth. Laking stated that one in a damaged condition was in the collection of the Earl of Londesbourgh. Another was sold at Sotheby's, 15 December, 1939, lot 31. A pair, now in an American private collection, was in the hands of the H. Ricketts in 1973. He tentatively attributed their design to Jean Goujon (act. 1540, died between 1564 and 1568). An example of in the Kingston-upon-Hull Museum is signed, in place of the oval shield, DE / CHAPEL / LENNE. This inscription is cast in relief. Another example was at Hever Castle (sold Sotheby's 1983, lot 194, repr. in cat.). J. F. Hayward described it in the sale catalogue as being 'after an original in the manner of Germain Pilon' (1537-74).