This piece, mounted on the eastern entrance to Leutze Park, is a Venetian 5.75-inch bronze howitzer captured during the Barbary Wars. On the second reinforce is a winged lion, its paws resting on an open book. This is the ancient symbol of Saint Mark the Evangelist, the patron saint of Venice. The Lion of Saint Mark indicates that these howitzers were cast at the famed Arsenal in Venice, a combined shipyard and munitions plant which, for centuries, built and armed the naval squadrons of this powerful Italian city-state. Unlike the early howitzers (Nos. 21-24) in this collection, this is apparently not chambered since, besides the midsection reinforce seen on the other pieces, it has a first reinforce at the breech as well. Cup-shaped vent pieces indicate that this weapon was made before the introduction of priming tubes in the 1760s.
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Naval Historical Center