Object Title

Miniature bronze gun

Miniature bronze gun

Date

1767

Object Number

XIX.316

Provenance

Purchased July 1981

Physical Description

Small brass cannon, the right side of the reinforce cut-away for a cannon-lock and pierced with a touch-hole. Cast with mouldings at the breech and at the first and second reinforces. The chase is split into three sections by two astragals and there is a further astragal on the first reinforce. Cast on the breech ring is the inscription W. SHEPHERD FECIT. 1767. LONDON, and on the second reinforce the Royal Arms of Britain as carried by the three younger brothers of George III (b.1738 d.1820). The muzzle is engraved with symetrical scroll-work and the first reinforce with a panel of floral arnament and a camp scene including a central trophy of arms. The trunnions have expanded button ends each engraved with a floral rosette. The cascable buttons are drilled longitudinally and laterally from the right side, the latter a conical and threaded hole. The longitudinal hole of XIX.315 has been filled with a brass plug. Both are stamped beneath the breech with Ordnance private proof marks, in front of which are three iron plugs in triangular formation, presumably the remains of casting supports.
Mounted on wooden stands

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length:14.75 in. (37.5 cm), Overall length: 16.5 in. (41.9 cm) Weight: 9lb 8oz (4.309 kilos)

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number nvn

Calibre

.80 in

Associations

Places England

Notes

The arms on the cannon, the Royal Arms with a label of five points are apart from the presence of an escutcheon in the Hanovarian quarter, those carried by the three younger brothers of George III (b.1738 d.1820). (The charges on the labels are omitted and it is therefore impossible to specify which of these three):-
Edward Augustus, Duke of York and Albany 1739-67
William Henry, Duke of Gloucester 1743-1805
Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland 1745-90
There were two William Shepherds, father and son. The father became a freeman of the Gunmaker's Company in 1754 and appears to have worked in Rotherhithe, London. He died about 1780. The son was elected a freeman of the Gunmaker's Company in 1767 and became Master in 1781/2. It was, therefore, probably Shepherd senior who made these guns.