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Original English 15th/16th Century Hand Cannon - Museum Restored During the Victorian Era

Regular price $995.00

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind. This came from a very old New York Collection and is nothing short of extraordinary. This is a single iron barrel hand cannon of only about 5" in length and just over a half inch bore. It is said to be one of a small lot of similar barrels found in the mud of the River Thames, near the Tower of London in the very early Victorian era, about 1840. Apparently these were taken by the Crown Armories and were restored to what they once were for Museum Display.

The iron barrel is original to the late 1400s to the early 1500s, and the rest is Victorian restoration to what it looked like in its working life. The Tower Armories had many totally original examples to base their accurate restorations upon.What we have measures about 31" in overall length made of a wood stock that is perfectly straight with a widened bulge towards the from to accommodate the barrel, which is held in place by two hand forged iron rings.

Behind the barrel there is a large iron spike jutting from the underside leaning slightly forward, which measures about 4" in length. At first it was believed to be used as a weapon once the cannon was discharged, then it was proposed to be used as a front hand grip something on the lines of a modern rifle. However the museum authorities consulted say it was for steadying the the gunners aim by either hooking it over a wall or leaning it against a wall for support.

The most interesting detail is that that barrel appears to have TWO touch holes, one at the very rear and one on top about 1 3/4" along the barrel toward the muzzle. The rear hole was pointed out to be, not a touch hole but the "stand" for the smoldering match, which was nothing more than a short length of cord or twine that burnt very slowly and that when the cannon needed to be discharged the gunner used his hand to direct the smoldering end to the touch hole and the weapon would fire.

Lastly there is a small aluminum tag wired to one of the barrel hoops stamped with some letters and numbers:-  M. K. - 63.1 which we have assumed is a Museum display reference, being the gallery, display case and Inventory number.

A very interesting item, with the most important portion being perhaps 500 - 600 years old. Nicely presented and ready to display.


Year of Manufacture: c.1500 - restored c.1840
Caliber: .5 inches
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 5 inches 
Overall Length: 31 inches

Feed System: Muzzle Loading

NOTE: International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these.

Shipping Restrictions

    This product is not available for shipping in US state(s)
    New Jersey

    This product is available for international shipping.

Legal Information

  • IMA considers all of our antique guns as non-firing, inoperable and/or inert. Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 921(a)(16) defines antique firearms as all guns made prior to 1899. This law exempts antique firearms from any form of gun control or special engineering because they are not legally considered firearms. No FFL, C&R or any license is required to possess, transport, sell or trade Antique guns. All rifles and muskets sold by IMA that were manufactured prior to 1899 are considered Antiques by the US BATF (United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms). Therefore, all of IMA's Antique guns may be shipped to all US States and most nations around the world.

    These antique guns are not sold in "live" condition. They are sold as collector's items or as "wall hangers". Any attempt at restoring an antique gun to be operational is strongly discouraged and is done so at the risk of the customer. By purchasing an antique gun from IMA you thereby release IMA, its employees and corporate officers from any and all liability associated with use of our Antique guns.

    Pre-1899 Manufacture, no licenses required, allowed to ship to almost any deliverable address across the globe. Please note that for international shipping, these MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services.

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