Object Title

2 pr gun and carriage

2 pr gun and carriage

Date

1773

Object Number

XIX.79

Provenance

After the capture of Malta by the French Army of Egypt in 1798.

Physical Description

The gun is very richly decorated in high relief; a trellis pattern of laurel branches covers almost the entire reinforce. On the second reinforce are two shields-of-arms, of the Order of St.John and of Francisco Ximinez de Texado. Grand Master, 1773-1775; they are backed by a trophy of banners and shields charged with crescents; above is a helmet crested with an eagle, the whole surmounted by a coronet. The first reinforce bears a portrait bust, probably of the Grand Master, in an oval frame held by cherubs and resting on a pedestal inscribed TERRENI FVLMINA MARTIS (the thunderbolts of earthly war), the plinth being inscribed LE. C. DE BOYER D'ARGENS COM. The chase bears a Turkish trophy and an eagle holding a wreath and by the muzzle astragal a portrait head in an oval frame which is inscribed PHILIP LATTERELLVS ROM. DELIN ET SCVL. Above is a scroll with the date 1773. The muzzle is jinscribed ET POMPA ET VSV (both for display and service). The base-ring bears the inscription HORATIVS ANTONIVS ALBERGHETTVS PVB. FVS. VEN. AN. MDCLXXXIV. The vent is placed at the upper edge of the cascabel and below it is a scroll inscribed SCINTILLA SVFFICIT VNA (a single spark suffices). The cascabel button is formed as the head of Medusa.


Carriage
The trail is carved with two Furies grasping torches, the wheels representing suns with the spokes forming rays. The edge of the breast transom is incised PE..../SPAGNA/...., most of the first and the third word being illegible, and the trail transom bears the letters A.R

Dimensions

CarriageHeight3.04m
CarriageLength2.42m
CarriageWidth3.37m
BarrelLength3.55m

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number MDCLXXXIV

Calibre

2.50 in _ (6.3 cm)

Associations

Places Italy

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, p.137.

Notes

After the capture of Malta by the French Army of Egypt in 1798, booty which included this gun and the flag of the Grand Master were being taken thence to France in the frigate 'La Sensible' when the vessel was attacked and captured on the 27th of May by H.M.Frigate 'Seahorse', Captain E.J. Foote, and the booty brought to England. The Tower etc. J.Hewitt, 1845. The flag is also still in the Tower Armouries (XVI.9.). The date 1773 agrees with the date of Grand Master Ximinez 1773 to 1775 while the inscription on the base-ring suggests that the gun was cast by 'Orazio Antonio Alberghetti'.
Member of a famous family of Italian gunfounders, who held the office of Public Gunfounder in Venice (Publice Fusor Ventus), in 1684. The most probable explanation of the discrepancy is that a mould was made from it to which the decoration and inscriptios were added, and that a fresh mould was then made from which the present gun was cast in 1773.
The Chevalier de Boyer d'Argens was probably Luc de Boyer d'Esgiulles, Marquis d'Argens, admitted to the Order on the Langue of Provence in 1724 and appointed Commander of the Artillery in 1767.