Antique Signal Cannon Model, Civil War Brooke / Armstrong Pattern

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antique cannon model

antique cannon model


A rare antique working model of a Civil War period fortification cannon with design elements of both The Confederate built Brooke cannon and the British Armstrong muzzle loading cannon numbers of which were imported by the Confederates during the Civil War, 1861 - 1865.

The design of this iron cannon barrel is unusual in a model and/or signal cannon. The heavy barrel incorporates special design features of both the british ARMSTRONG cannon, designed in the 1850s as a breech loading gun, but built from 1864 on as a muzzle loading gun; and the BROOKE cannon designed by John Brooke, an officer of the Confederate States Navy. The barrel proportions of this model appear to have a lot in common with John Brooke's designs.

Please see links below for information on Brooke, Armstrong, and their cannon:

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During the nineteenth century designers and engineers often built models to display their ideas to military and government officials. Both designers employed iron bands wrapped and/or shrunk around the breech to reinforce the chambers of their cannon. Both designers believed in rifled cannon built to fire heavy explosive shells. These guns developed higher breech pressures when fired than conventional guns and the reinforced barrel designs of Armstrong and Brooke were intended to prevent the bursting of cannon barrels in service.

This model features an iron carriage, which was popular in the 1861-1865 period for fortification artillery. The carriage is designed with the cannon barrel set high to enable it to be fired over a parapet thus affording the artillery men who served it some protection. a Iron wheels enabled it to be moved from point to point within a fortress for defensive purposes. This carriage design also allowed a gun to be brought up behind temporary earthworks built to shelter artillery when attacking a fortress.

A majority of the BROOKE and ARMSTRONG guns built where large and very heavy guns built with fixed fortification mountings. Somewhat lighter moveable guns would have been very useful in a fortress to defend against amphibious attacks since they could be brought into action where needed. For offensive purposes the practicality of a moveable gun is obvious.

This period model / signal cannon is built to very high standards of quality with excellent detail. The barrel is machined iron or steel. The carriage and wheels are cast iron while some detail parts are brass including the elevation mechanism, the elevation screw itself is steel.

This model is in excellent condition; the barrel retains over 90% slightly faded original blued finish with a bit of corrosion around the touch hole and some very light ageing. The carriage and wheels retain excellent original surface - gray paint underneath what is probably original protective varnish which has turned dark and alligatored with age. All mechanical functions are excellent and the bore is free of obstruction.

A rare Civil War period artifact with a good possibility of Confederate association - a fine piece for the cannon and or Civil War collector.

Dimensions: overall length 17 1/2", width 7 1/2", height 8", barrel length 9 1/4", breech diameter 2", muzzle diameter 13/16", .44 caliber .

Price: $1650.00

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