Rare Dutch Model Cannon
Netherlands, Dated 1671
Painted wood, cast bronze, forged iron.
Height: 24 cm (9.4 inch)
Width: 32 cm (12.6 inch)
Depth: 66 cm (26 inch) Ref No: 1990
An extraordinary fine and rare model cannon, dated 1671, the barrel cast in bronze and mounted on a wooden carriage. The iron fittings are forged in the minutest details and correspond to the skilful chiselling of the barrel that shows two dolphin handles, leaf ornaments and the Batavian Lion. So this cannon can be identified as being Dutch. It is a a model of the cannons Menno van Coehoorn used back in 1692 defending fortress Namur against the French under the command of King Louis XIV.
Small guns such as this one served a variety of functions. They were often owned by young princes and used to fight mock battles in the manner of today’s action toys. In royal armouries, they served as scale models of the full-sized ordnance in the artillery train, and were often employed to deliver salutes. Some belonged to sets of miniature equipment that an arms dealer used to show his prospective clients models of the actual products he had to offer.