As the 1700's began, most cannons were made to whatever design their foundry favored, with the only common standard being the caliber of projectiles, resulting in a huge variety of styles with different weights, ranges, and ordinance- and with varying degrees of reliability. In 1716, England's forces were among many armies of the day who began efforts to standardize the manufacture of their artillery. Under the British Board of Ordnance, a central engineer or "Surveyor General" was appointed to create specifications or patterns under which all British Military cannon were made, allowing any foundry to turn out near-identical weapons.
This cannon is made in the Armstrong-Frederick Pattern style, made for the British Navy from 1753-1794. John Armstrong was the second Surveyor General, appointed in 1722. By 1725 he created the first comprehensive specifications for cannon manufacture- complex proportions which governed the dimensions of every section. Armstrong's successor, Charles Frederick, made some small modifications to the design in 1753, and cannons made from the new pattern bearing both their names were made for nearly 40 more years. Considered a successful and durable design, cannons like this one would have been used aboard British vessels during the American Revolutionary War.
Their design was striking- rather than narrowing gradually down the tube, this cannon has unusual step downs in tube diameter between the first and second reinforce and again at the chase, with concentric reinforce rings between each section, before widening out again at the muzzle. At the other end the first reinforce includes a vent, and beyond it, the base ring has the maker's mark-"GILKS, WILSON, & CO., TOWER HILL, LONDON" aka C.H. Gilks & Co., Gunmakers and Ships' Ironmongers, No. 3 Union Row, Little Tower Hill, London.
In very good condition, this cannon has a very rich, deep bronze patina on the tube and a clear, smooth bore. It is extremely rare to find a cannon of this age with their original carriages; this cannon's original Naval-style stepped carriage is sound and includes bronze and iron hardware, also with good patina. A very rare combination of factors makes this cannon desirable both to the maritime and cannon collector.
Tube: 34 Inches including Cascabel
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