Signal canons, also referred to as salute cannons, typically measure less than two feet in length. They first originated in the East Indies in the sixteenth century and eventually grew popular in England. As their name suggests, these miniatures were used abroad ships and on land to salute or warn others of danger, and to attract attention in case of emergency. Some cannons also provided a form of amusement: cannon fire could signal the thrilling start of yacht races, or even alone comprise rousing contests. Men would compete for their personal cannons against others and then judge who fired the furthest. And such fiery displays are still possible! This large British nineteenth-century miniature remains functional with gunpowder. The bronze barrel, nicely detailed with an insignia of a crown on top of a globe surrounded by wings hints at a naval history. Perhaps once fired in friendly games among gentlemen, this signal cannon could now make a stirring addition to any Fourth of July or New Year’s celebration.
H = 9 in. W= 7 in. D= 15 in., 15 lbs.