Turning Your Home into a 19th Century Castle
If you’ve ever thought to yourself “I wish I had lived in one of those grand old castles”, then you are who we had in mind when we acquired this pair of original 1866 Chinese 12 pounder bronze cannons mounted on carved teak dragon bases. As lovers of history ourselves, we could not pass up on these beautiful cannons. They are a statement piece, the kind that will fascinate your friends, and intimidate your enemies. The last part was a joke. But not really.
Cast at the Kiangnan Arsenal in June 1866 and January 1867 they were acquired by the Earl of Lonsdale and housed at Lowther castle in Cumbria, seat of the Earls of Lonsdale. The base-rings of each cannon is engraved in both complex and simplified Chinese characters and signed by the arsenal inspector “Jiang Nan Zhi Zao Song Ju”. The literal translation of the inscriptions is “the ball which will explode like a flower head” This is certainly a beautifully poetic way to describe shooting your enemies with deadly flaming balls. We’ll go with what they said
Image of the Lowther Castle from www.lakedistrictlodgeholidays.co.uk
The cannons are preserved in their natural, unpolished condition, displaying a natural light green patina throughout. They are in their original brass-mounted carved hardwood truck carriage, with bronze cap squares over the trunnions, elevating screws on a bronze spool-shaped casing, and the sides of the carriages carved in relief with beautifully elaborate panels of scrolling dragons emerging against a field of stylized clouds.
These cannons would certainly be a unique piece in your possession; I personally can’t think of a single person I know who casually has a set of 19th century cannons in their home. They have an instantly strong presence that resonates throughout the room. They are for that person who is looking to elevate their home to a whole new level.