Object Title

1.6 in gun

1.6 in gun

Date

1570

Object Number

XIX.169

Provenance

Both guns were originally in the Zeughaus, Vienna and were removed to Paris by Napoleon in 1805 after the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1815 after the Battle of Waterloo, No.169 formed part of the collection of trophy arms brought to England (W.O.44/616). It was transferred to the Tower in 1930 from the Rotunda Museum, Woolwich, where it was No.II.14. The Paris gun suffered a further move when it was taken by the Nazis to Germany in 1940 (Official List No.853) and returned after the war.

Physical Description

The reinforce is octagonal, the chase is rounded in section and the muzzle is in the form of a monster's head. On the forward part of the reinforce is the Imperial eagle bearing a shield of the arms of Austria impaling Burgundy. Further towards the breech is the figure of a peasant carrying a basket of eggs with, below, the verse in Gothic letters:


ICH BIN FUR WAR EIN GROBER BAUR
(I am forsooth an uncouth peasant
WER FRIST MENIR AYR ES WURD IM SAUR
Who tastes my eggs won't find them pleasant


The dolphins are of normal form, the trunnions terminate in lions' masks and the steel cascabel button is slotted for the bar of an elevating gear. The date ANNO 1570 is incised on the reinforce and N88 between the dolphins

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length: 5 ft 7 in (170.2 cm), Overall length: 5 ft 10 in (177.8 cm)

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number N88

Calibre

1.6 in _ (4 cm)

Associations

Places Germany

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976, p.133.

Notes

The arms on the Tower and Paris guns are probably those of the Emperor Maximilian II, 1527-76, who was the great-grandson of the Emperor Maximilian I and Mary of Burgundy. The pair belongs to a series of guns, mainly of German origin, made in pairs which are alike in size, form and general decoration, but which are distinguished by a relief illustration and inscription, male on one gun and female on the other. Examples are the 'tailor' and 'tailoress' guns cast in 1525 for Frederick, Duke of Bavaria, and the 'wild man' and 'wild woman' of Albert V of Bavaria (see H.Muller, 'Deutsche Bronzegeschutzrohre 1400-1750' (Berlin, 1968), 106-8). The Tower gun is the male half of a peasant and peasantess pair, the Paris half dislaying a peasantess carrying a hen with a verse:


ICH BIN EIN BEURIN WOL GETHANS'
WEE DEIN MEIN HUNER KRALKANS'
(I am a woman well endowed'
My spiteful hen can keep you cowed)'


Another peasant and peasantess pair of guns was cast in 1554 by Lienhart Peringer of Landshut and is now in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich.