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BRONZE CANNON BARREL Ė BEARS THE CIPHER OF DANISH KING CHRISTIAN IV (1577-1648) Ė VERY ATTRACTIVE ARTILLERY PIECE:  This is an attractive bronze cannon barrel of the size associated with salute or shipís rail guns.   

The top of the barrel features an integral casting of the cipher of King Christian IV of Denmark-Norway who reigned from 1577-1648 and is well known for his efforts to increase the size and influence of their navy.  Included with the photographs of the cannon below, I have included two examples of the king's cipher for comparison to that which is on the barrel.   

The bronze barrel weighs 22 pounds, measures 21" long from the outside curve of the caseable to the face of muzzle, 2.75" across the breech and the bore is .75".   The touch hole is drilled through to the bore, and the bore is open for its full length.   

I have sought out numerous opinions from experienced cannon collectors as to whether this barrel is original to the 16TH-17TH Century era of King Christianís reign or is a reproduction.  The general consensus is leaning towards it being a reproduction or recasting which was executed later than the kingís reign, but not necessarily of modern or recent manufacture.  From what I have been able to determine, during the second half of the 19TH Century there was a dramatic growth in recreational sailing in Europe and the Americas.  As the sailing community formalized into established yacht clubs and recognized competitions, in addition to the construction of the multi-masted racing schooners and luxury yachts, these wealthy sailors also sought out ship fittings that recalled the Golden Age when sail rigged ships dominated the high seas and represented their nationsí interests around the globe.  This was particularly true as their navysí wooden ships under sail were replaced by iron plated steam powered naval vessels Ė a change that was resisted or at the very least, regretted as a loss of romance and identity.  One of the ways in which this nostalgia was manifested was in the manufacture of historically correct or reminiscent cannons for use as salute or signal cannons aboard the yachts.  Most of these were cast in bronze and many featured the royal ciphers of monarchs who were instrumental in developing their nationís navies.  That King Christian IV would be so recognized with the inclusion of his cipher on one of these salute guns makes perfectly good sense given his commitment to the Danish Navy during his reign.  

Regardless of its origin, the size and weight of this very attractive tube is quite handy and it displays very easily without requiring its own room or building as some of the larger cannon barrels do, and better yet, you don't need an eighteen wheeler fitted with its own crane to move it.  I have been a little torn between keeping this one or selling it, but after reminding myself I can't keep it all, itís now on the block.  There are any number of sources for gun carriages of the field, siege and shipboard styles and Iíve left it up to the next owner to decide which one best suits his purposes and preference.  Far more impressive than one of the toy or hobby sized cannons, this barrel will be a special addition to your collection whether in your display room, mounted on the wall of your hacienda, or rendering that special pirate flavor to the bow of your bass boat.  (0103)  $2500



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