Presenting a 15th to 16th century hexagonal naval signaling cannon, or mortar. The cannon is cast from iron and formed in hexagonal sections with a flared base, touch hole and tab above.
These cannon are generally compact and this one is no exception. There was a direct correlation between the length of early cannon or "gonnes"and the likelihood of it exploding in the face "gonner" firing it, which encouraged restraint and gave rise to the phrase, "He's a gonner", to refer to someone who's impending mortality was a given.
Hexagonal cannon were used in Europe, both at sea and on land from 13th to the 16th centuries. Slim hand-cannon were fired like guns and more solid examples were placed on the ground or platforms where their hexagonal shape helped prevent rolling when being fired. Examples in museums include the Mörkö Gun, at Statens Historika Museum, Sweden, and a triple barrel variation designed by Leonardo da Vinci in the Benkovac museum
This is a fine addition to an existing collection of militaria, or would serve as a unique and unforgettable gift to a military or history buff.
Condition is excellent. There is the expected surface pitting , but no rust. The centuries have left a nice sheen patina.
Measures 6" long, diameter of 2 1/4", a 1 1/4" bore hole, with the diameter of the octagonal base being 3 1/8 inches.
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