Spanish 27 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
1788
Publisher/Studio:
Barcelona

This can, appropriately, be called a "Decatur gun." No. 10 is a Spanish 27-pounder gun, cast at Barcelona in 1788 for King Charles III; it armed a gunboat captured in hand-to-hand combat by Decatur at Tripoli on 3 August 1804. Named CAMILLO (the Christian name Camillus), this Spanish gun has the vent astragal and chase girdle characteristic of 18th-century ordnance but is functional in line.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-J
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

French 12 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
1740
Publisher/Studio:
Douay

This can, appropriately, be called a "Decatur gun." No. 11 is a French 12-pounder, made at Douay in 1740 for Louis XV, and taken by Decatur during his operations against Algiers in 1815. The French 12-pounder was, as the Latin inscription on its breech rings show, made at Douay in 1740 by the famed works established for Louis XIV in 1667; Claude Berenger de la Falise was appointed Commissaire des Fontes de France in 1696, and he and his descendants continued to produce guns for the French service at Douay until 1819. Read more »

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-S
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

French 12 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
1740
Publisher/Studio:
Douay

This can, appropriately, be called a "Decatur gun." No. 12 is a French 12-pounder, made at Douay in 1740 for Louis XV, and taken by Decatur during his operations against Algiers in 1815. The French 12-pounder was, as the Latin inscription on its breech rings show, made at Douay in 1740 by the famed works established for Louis XIV in 1667; Claude Berenger de la Falise was appointed Commissaire des Fontes de France in 1696, and he and his descendants continued to produce guns for the French service at Douay until 1819. This gun, named LE BELLIQUEUX (The Warlike One), has had a large hexagonal vent piece added. This vent piece, lacking the cup-shaped depression around the vent) for powder, was evidently added in the late 1700's after tube primers had supplanted loose-powder priming. Though made after the death of Louis XIV, it is still ornamented in the style of his regime. Besides the royal arms, the first reinforce bears the famous device of the "Sun King" with his motto, Nec pluribus impar. "Not unequal to many" was Louis' roundabout way of describing himself as a match for any number of adversaries. On the chase is the inscription Ultima ratio regum, "the last argument of kings," widely used on European ordinance during this age of royal absolutism. No. 12 was made under the system of ordnance reform proposed by General Valliere and adopted in 1732; this was the first rationalization of French land artillery and prefigured Gribeauval's reforms of the 1770s. The rooster head cascabel knobs were a feature of Valliere's scheme. Muzzle-loading smoothbore guns were similar in size and appearance, and a gunner had to measure the bore of a strange gun to determine its caliber. Guns in each of Vallerie's five standard calibers had an identifying cascabel design. The rooster told a gunner that this was a 12-pounder. Since the French livre weighed 1.097 English pounds, this "12-pounder" fired a heavier (13.164 pounds) ball than its British or American counterparts.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-Q
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 27 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
1788
Publisher/Studio:
Barcelona

This can, appropriately, be called a "Decatur gun." No. 13 is a Spanish 27-pounder gun, cast at Barcelona in 1788 for King Charles III; it armed a gunboat captured in hand-to-hand combat by Decatur at Tripoli on 3 August 1804. Named CORZO (the male roe deer, with the connotation of swiftness), this Spanish gun has the vent astragal and chase girdle characteristic of 18th-century ordnance but is functional in line.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-L
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 12 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
March 28, 1795
Publisher/Studio:
Barcelona

This Spanish 12-pounder, is named GENEROSO (Generous), presumably for its readiness to dispense its iron favors. Cast at Barcelona on 28 March 1795, it bears the serial number 2673 on the breech ring. A large elevated vent piece has been added at some time after the manufacture, and the vent field (on the top of the vent piece) is shaped to correspond with a flint firing lock. The holes drilled in the right side of the vent piece, with the cutaway in the gun tube beside it, were intended to accommodate the lock. This gun is believed to have been captured at Derna during the war with Tripoli and brought to the United States late in 1805 in the brig Franklin.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-AG
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 12 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
November 21, 1803
Publisher/Studio:
Barcelona

This 12-pounder, made at Barcelona on 21 November 1803, is slightly shorter than No. 14 and lacks a vent astragal and chase girdle; handles have also been omitted. A prominent vertical cutaway in the breech face, to the right of the cascabel knob, took a rear sight; three semicircular recesses at the sides of the cutaway evidently matched lugs on the sight base. Three screw holes show where a front sight was mounted on the right rimbase. The royal cipher is that of Charles IV (1788-1808). This gun was originally mounted in the defenses of Manila and was taken when the city fell to Dewey in 1898.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-EK
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 4.75 Inch Bronze Rifled Gun

Date:
1829
Publisher/Studio:
Seville

This piece, cast at Seville on 8 January 1829, was originally made as a 12-pounder smoothbore along the line of No.15. At a later date, it was converted to a 4.75-inch muzzle-loading rifle, a common expedient here and abroad in the mid-19th century when many old smoothbore guns were so modified. As a rifle, it has a hexagonal bore with eight lands and was equipped with rimbase sights like those of No.15. It bears the Latin name ALEATOR -- literally, a dice player - connoting dice and recklessness or, perhaps, referring to the 12-pound dice that it could throw.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-EK
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 12 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
May 1, 1767
Publisher/Studio:
Barcelona

This Barcelona 12-pounder is EL TORO (The Bull), made on 1 May 1767. A V-notch rear sight is cast into the breech ring, with a small front sight blade on the swell of the muzzle. This simple arrangement indicates the importance of point-blank firing in the age of smoothbore gunnery. EL TORO passed into Mexican hands when that country won its independence from Spain and was captured by naval forces during the Mexican War.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-O
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 12 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
July 6, 1767

This 12-pounder, EL TOSICO (The Poisonous One), is dated 6 July 1767. Like EL TORO, it was made for King Charles III and displays his cipher on the first reinforce. It was also a Mexican War trophy, and as an inscription on the breech face indicates - was lost and recovered at the Norfolk Naval Yard during the Civil War.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-EQ
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 9 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
December 3, 1767
Publisher/Studio:
Barcelona

This 9-pounder is contemporary of Nos. 17 and 18, and it was made at Barcelona on 3 December 1767. COBRE... DE...AMERICA...on the left trunnion means that its founder used copper from the rich Spanish mines of Chile. Its PESO CASO (peso Castellano, Castilian weight) is marked on the right trunnion at 13 quintales, 75 libras, or 1394.66 of our pounds. It is named EL GALGO (The Greyhound).

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-AH
Institution:
Naval Historical Center