Object Title

Gun - 24-pounder Gun and Carriage

Gun - 24-pounder Gun and Carriage

Date

1600-1620

Object Number

XIX.77

Provenance

This gun was brought to England from Malta some time after 1800. In 1826, after lying for some years near the door of the Storekeeper's Office in the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. It then stood within the main gate of the Royal Carriage Department, Woolwich.

Physical Description

The piece is of exceptional length and finely ornamented in relief. It comprises a large plain base ring and a cascable ornamented with acanthus foliage. Several fillets are present after the base ring and the vent field is banded with a design of large floral scrolls enclosing grape-harvesting cupids with birds and animals below. The vent field astragal and fillets marks the start of the short first reinforce. Thence a first reinforce astragal and fillets is present together with a band of tongues of flames. The second reinforce housing the trunnions is longer with a band of decoration just before the double second reinforce astragal and fillets. The chase girdle is short with decoration and its end is marked by a chase girdle astragal and fillets and a band of shorter tongues of flame. Just prior to the muzzle astragal and fillets is an identical band of tongues of flame. Thence a short band of decoration bounded by a further muzzle astragal and fillets and a bulbous muzzle with two fillets.
The British carriage, in the main of cast-iron designed by the Royal Carriage Department, Woolwich and made by John Hall, Dartford, Kent has wheel bosses of bronze gilt and a pewter panel on the cheek depicted St. Paul`s shipwreck. It is richly decorated with elements of the Classical history of the island of Malta. The spokes of the trucks are formed of the Maltese Cross and Sword. The Bed or Quoin is formed of a dog peculiar to the island, known as Bichou and mentioned as such in Roman history.
The first reinforce bears three shields-of-arms, of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt, and probably of Veri of Majorca with the arms of the Order in Chief. Below, an oval cartouche is engraved with the inscription EX PERPETVO CENSV SVPER MODICAE COMITATV FVDATO A FRE RAYMODO DE VERI MAIORICAR BAIVLIVO ANNO 1590 FACTA ANNO 1607 TEPORE MAGNI COSERVATORIS FRE MICHAELIS DE LENTOM ET COSEGNATA A FRE RAYMVNDO DE BERGA MAGNO CONSERVATORE. The inscription may be translated as 'Provided out of the permanent charge on the county of Modica instituted by Brother Raymond de Veri of Majorca, Bailiff, in the year 1590; made in the year 1607 in the time of the Grand Conservator Brother Michael de Lentom (Lentorn) and registered by Brother Raymond de Berga, Grand Conservator'. On the second reinforce is a figure of St. Michael overthrowing Satan, and the chase girdle is banded with cherub's heads and foliage. There is a prominent moulding at the muzzle, the space between this and the muzzle astragal being ornamented with cupids gathering grapes. The vent-field is banded with a design of large floral scrolls enclosing similar grape-harvesting cupids with birds and animals below. Tongues of flame project from the second reinforce ring and from the chase and muzzle astragals. The base-ring in incised with the number 63 with the weight 115-2-0 above and the number 32 below, both the weight and the second number being later additions. A hinged vent cover was originally fitted but appears to have been deliberately removed.
The carriage was described in 1827 as follows:
'In the formation of the Carriage care has been taken to adhere strictly to the Classical History of that Island. On one of its Brackets is therefore exhibited the Shipwreck of the Roman Galley from which St. Paul escaped in a Bay of the Island (and has thus taken his name) who is shewn in the act of Casting off the Viper into the Fire which adhered to his hand wth the terror and amazement of the Natives upon this proof of his Heavenly invulnerability. The opposite Bracket contains the Arms of Malta with its Motto 'Citta Vittoriosa' in addition to which are the arms of the Knights 'uplifted Swords' and their Motto 'pour le Foy'. The lower panels are covered with Banners on which were intended to be placed the Names of Two of its celebrated Grand Masters. The Spokes of the Truck are formed of the Maltese Cross and Sword. The Bed (being generally figuratively expressed) is formed of the Dog, peculiar to the Island [called by] the name [of] Bichou and mentioned as such in Roman History.'
(W.0.44/519)
Although the bulk of the carriage is of cast iron, the wheel bosses are of bronze. A plaque at the end of the trail reads: CONSTRUCTED ROYAL CARRIAGE DEPARTMENT FIELD MARSHALL THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON MASTER GENERAL MDCCCXXVII

Techniques

Cast

Materials

Dimensions

BarrelBore6 in
BarrelBore152 mm
BarrelLength229 in
BarrelLength241 in
BarrelLength5817 mm
BarrelLength6121 mm
BarrelWeight5867.4 kg
BarrelWeight12935.4 lb
CarriageWeight3708.4 kg
CarriageWeight8175.6 lb

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number None visible

Calibre

6 in (15.2 cm)

Inscriptions and Marks

Weight
115 - 2 - 0
Base ring
Inscribed
Inscription
32
Base ring
Inscribed
Inscription
63
Base ring
Inscribed
Ornamentation
Acanthus foliage
Cascable
In relief
Inscription
C. JAMES
Carriage cheek
Stamp
Inscription
CONSTRUCTED ROYAL CARRIAGE DEPARTMENT FIELD MARSHALL THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON MASTER GENERAL MDCCCXXVII
Bronze plaque
Inscribed
Ornamentation
Cherub`s heads and foliage.
Chase girdle
In relief
Ornamentation
Covered with Banners on which were intended to be placed the names of two celebrated Grand Masters of the Order of St. John.
Cariage panel
In relief
Ornamentation
Cupids gathering grapes.
Muzzle
In relief
Ornamentation
Figure of St. Michael overthrowing Satan.
Second reinforce
In relief
Shield of Arms
Grand Master Alof de Wignancourt
First reinforce
In relief
Ornamentation
Large floral scrolls enclosing grape-harvesting cupids with birds and animals.
Vent field
In relief
coat of arms
Of Malta with its motto `Citta Vittoriosa` plus the arms of the Knights `uplifted swords` and their motto `pour le Foy`.
Carriage bracket
In relief
Cartouche
Oval, engraved with the inscription EX PERPETVO CENSV SVPER MODICAE COMITATV FVDATO A FRE RAYMODO DE VERIMAIORICAR BAIVLIVO ANNO 1590 FACTA ANNO 1607 TEPORE MAGNII COSERVATORIS FRE MICHAELI DE LENTOM ET COSEGNATA A FRE RAYMVNDO DE BERGA MAGNO CONSERVATORE.
First reinforce
In relief
Ornamentation
Prominent moulding.
Muzzle
In relief
Shield of Arms
The Order of St. John of Jerusalem
First reinforce
In relief
Ornamentation
The shipwreck of the Roman Galley from which St. Paul escaped in an Island Bay and is shown in the act of casting off the viper into the fire which had stuck to his hand with the terror and amazement of the natives upon the proof of his heavenly invulnerability.
Carriage bracket
In relief
Shield of Arms
Veri of Majorca with the arms of the Order in chief.
First reinforce
In relief

Associations

Places Flanders

Bibliographic References

H.L. Blackmore The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, p.112.

Notes

Alof de Wignacourt whose arms appear on Nos XIX.77 and XIX.78 was born in 1547, a member of an ancient and distinguished family of Picardy. He became a Chevalier of the Langue of France and served as Grand Master of the Order of St. John from 1601 until his death in 1622. One of his non-military achievments was the building of an aqueduct to bring water to Valetta, Malta. His portrait in armour, painted by Caravaggio in 1608, is in the Musee du Louvre, Paris.