Original U.S. Civil War Era Small Naval Signal & Salute Iron Cannon on Wooden Carriage

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Signal cannons, also referred to as salute cannons, were used aboard ship and on land to make salutes, to warn of danger and to attract attention in the case of an emergency. They were also used to start yacht races. These cannons were generally cast in the style of the period to which they belong.

Personal cannons can also fall into this category. These miniatures were popular in the East Indies starting in the 16th Century, where they were mounted on small ships, and also considered a form of currency. They were not only intended solely for use as weapons, but were admired for their beauty.

This small iron cannon is attached to a blackened, hand carved wood base and would have been mounted on the rails, or the timber at the very top of the hull. Such a small gun would do very minor damage as a weapon and was instead intended to signal or salute other members of the fleet, passing ships, or people on land. The wood base has a possibility of being a later addition, especially if it was being used for land purposes.

The cannon itself measures approximately 11 ½” in length with a bore diameter of approximately ¾” (.750). The carriage is 14 ⅝” in length, 5 ⅝” wide and a height of 4 ⅛”. The condition is about what you would expect of an iron cannon of this age, especially one intended for shipboard purposes. The pitting appears to only be superficial, but there is however some present inside the bore as well as rust.

This is a lovely example of a seldom seen cannon. Comes ready to be mounted on your kayak to give out salutes this summer! Or to sit on your desk, whatever your preference!


Year of Manufacture: circa 1850-1860
Caliber: .750
Ammunition Type: Powder
Barrel Length: 11 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 16 3/4 inches
Ignition: Touch Hole
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

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