A Miniature Cannon

This miniature cannon stands on a carriage with two open wheels with spokes. The barrel of the gun is decorated with acanthus leaf motif around the profiled bands at the ends of the barrel. On the back of the carriage is a ring to secure the cannon. Marked on the side of the carriage with the makers' mark of Cornelis Coutrier.

The civic guard had cannons at its disposal for the defence of the city. These would also be fired in peace time, the gun salutes adding to the celebrations during festive occasions or special events. Around 1600, a canon could be fired no more than two or three times every ten minutes, as there was a danger of the gun exploding if fired too soon, it's barrel still being extremely hot after the previous shot.
To keep a battery of canon operational a whole range of people was needed. The core of the group consisted of the gun crew. These gunners had to be protected in the open field against attacks by hostile cavalry and infantry troops. This was the job of the pike-men, who carried lances measuring 5.5 metres in length. Each canon stood on a mount or gun carriage, which had big wheels so that it could be moved more easily. This type of gun had two wheels and what is known as a trail-spade at the back to minimise the recoil during the firing.


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