The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Cannon
  • Giovanni Mazzaroli
  • Giovanni Mazzaroli
  • Venice and Florence, Italy
  • 1688 and 1853 - 1854 (cannon barrel)
    1853 - 1854 (gun-carriage)
  • Bronze, steel, walnut and gold, carved and gilded
  • Length: 139 cm, cannon barrel
    Length: 3.8 cm, calibre, cannon barrel
    Weight: 83.003 kg, cannon barrel
    Length: 183 cm, gun-carriage
  • Inscription: '10. MAZZAROLI . F . 1688' engraved on a scroll
    Inscription: 'G. GIANI FERRO, QUESTO CARRO L 1854'
    Inscription: 'F. QUEST CARRO A. BARBETTI. IN. FL. L'. 1853'
  • A1245
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The cast-bronze barrel, intended for ceremonial use, is decorated in high relief with scenes from classical legend, including Jupiter and the Titans, Hercules and Cacus, and the Rape of the Sabine Women. It is both signed and dated on the muzzle by the maker, Giovanni Mazzaroli (working 1660-1710). According to legend, the barrel was found in the Venetian lagoon; a similar one, possibly its pair, is in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. The ornate carriage of carved walnut enriched with gilding was commissioned from the craftsman Angiolo Barbetti (1803-80) by Anatole Demidoff, Prince of San Donato in Florence; it bears on each side an oval shield painted with the Demidoff arms, and was designed by Demidoff’s friend and secretary, Auguste de Sainson who based it on a miniature cannon once belonging to Cosimo III de Medici. The ironwork was hand-wrought by G. Ciani.