Object Title

2.25 in howitzer

2.25 in howitzer

Date

1786

Object Number

XIX.293

Provenance

Purchased Christie's sale 10 May 1972, Lot.54.

Physical Description

Of European design and plain finish. The reinforce bands cast with the words LT. COLONEL CLAUDE MARTIN LUCKNOW 1786

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length: 10 in (25.4 cm), Overall length: 12 in (30.5 cm)

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number nvn

Calibre

2.25 in (5.7 cm)

Associations

Places India

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, p.160.

Thom Richardson, An introduction to Indian arms and armour, Leeds, Royal Armouries, 2007: 42

Notes

'Claude Martin'
Born at Lyons in 1735, arrived in India in 1752 as a private in the French army. After the French surrender at Pondicherry in 1760 he joined the English forces and was commissioned as an ensign in 1763. Later with the rank of Captain in the East India Company's service he was employed surveying in Oude. Here, by his experiments with mechanical devices and the first balloons to be seen in Asia, he attracted the attention of the Nawab of Oude. In 1779 Martin was formerly appointed Superintendent of the Nawab's Artillery and of his Arsenal at Lucknow. He continued to receive promotion in the ranks of the East India Company and when he died in 1800 he was a Major General. The large residence which he built at Lucknow called Constantia became La Martiniére College as the result of an endowment in his will. This also made provision for the establishment of another Martiniére College at Calcutta which was built in 1833-5. He was described in 1786 as' a man desirous of all kinds of knowledge.... he works whole days together at all the arts that concern watch-making and gun-smith work' (S.C.Hill, 'The Life of Claude Martin,' etc. (Calcutta, 1905), 118). His interests were reflected in the number of guns, pistols and cannon which bear his name. The small arms are notable for the use of silver both as a decoration and as a material for the barrels. The Armouries possesses one of his fowling pieces (XII.1279) and has, on loan from Lord Braybrook, a pair of his silver-barrelled pistols. Valued as a pair with XIX. 292