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Lot
98078

Magnificent Quality, 1647-Dated, Dutch Bronze Gun Tube, with American Revolutionary War Provenance....

2009 July Grand Format Arms & Militaria Auction #6023

 
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Auction Ended On: Jul 25, 2009
Item Activity: 2 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location:

Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219

Description:
A very rare and very impressive gun tube with superb history.
Magnificent Quality, 1647-Dated, Dutch Bronze Gun Tube, with American Revolutionary War Provenance. 30½" overall, 2" bore, 5½" breech diameter, 7¼" across the 1½" trunnions. Base ring at the breech marked "C OVDEROGGE FECIT EN I O ROTTERDAM" The top of the breech displays a crest bearing a diagonal banner of four pyramids, giving the appearance of a zig zag. The crest is crowned and a banner underneath bears the date 1647. Research indicates the crest is of the Odrimont family of Hainaut, Flanders. The vent is bushed with a material that appears to be wrought copper with "ears" flanking the vent. There are three small holes to the left of the vent for mounting a match or flint lock firing mechanism. There are three iron core support pins equally spaced around the breech. The trunnions are low mounted and slightly bent from much firing. The breech face and reinforce are elaborately cast with floral/scroll motifs. There are two dolphin handles, each 2" x 3" long. The Ouderogge's were a renowned bell and gunfounding family in Rotterdam from the 17th through the early 18th centuries.

The gun is accompanied by a circa1900 typewritten note stating it was "unearthed by me in excavating the foundation of a small building on the estate of the late Capt. Samuel Sprague....where the action between the American and British forces took place on May 27, 1775. The Sons of the American Revolution have placed a tablet to commemorate the action and the tablet is placed at the corner of Parkway and Vinal Streets, Revere, Massachusetts." The note is signed by William H. Emerson. The Sons of the American Revolution tablet states that, "On the 27th of May 1775, near this point, a body of American troops engaged in driving cattle from Hog Island on the opposite side of Chelsea Creek, were fired upon by British Regulars who came up the creek in two armed vessels and several barges. Col. Israel Putnam, arriving with reinforcements, made a vigorous attack compelling them to retire with heavy loss and abandon the schooner Diana which drifted with the tide and finally grounded at Chelsea Ferry.... For meritorious services on this occasion Col. Putnam received the first commission issued by the Provincial Congress for the rank of Major General".

When the gun was discovered, it was in two pieces, apparently having cracked from firing, which is doubtless the reason it was abandoned. The crack is 8½" from the muzzle and was repaired by the late Smithsonian curator Don Berkibile, circa 1950. Absolutely the finest quality work and with the exception of a tiny line virtually undetectable. The tube exhibits a deep dark patina overall, most attractive. It is now mounted on a very old naval style carriage that is certainly not original to the gun but possibly as early as the 18th century. The carriage shows its great age, is very sound and displays the gun nicely.

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