Canton cannon!

Last month I spent some time visiting a veteran’s memorial in Canton, Ohio. It was a weekday and the place was pretty empty — no doubt fact that the memorial is right off an interstate highway, and not really in a residential area, I suppose.

Anyway apart from a pleasant gazebo to sit in, and a path around a small pond, the things that really caught my eye were a couple of pieces of 18th century artillery that were mounted there on stone pedestals. Both were looted late in the 19th century from the Philippines and eventually found their way to Canton, Ohio. The amazing thing about them is that although they are utilitarian military weapons, they are also intricately sculpted and decorated. They were made at a time when everything was basically made by hand and decorated because why the fuck wouldn’t you make anything you are making beautiful as well as functional.

Here are some pictures, taken with my primitive flip-phone. Both are obviously bronze.

First up, a cannon.

cannon-0

Looking at it from the end the crew would see, there is a face — perhaps a ‘green man’ — sculpted onto the butt.

cannon-1

He’s a little cross-eyed.

cannon-2

The whole barrel of the thing is covered with reliefs and inscriptions. The touch-hole (where you’d insert a fuse to set it off) has a fire-burst decoration.

cannon-3

Futher along the barrel is a nice sun face.

cannon-4

Happily there is also a plaque explaining the Latin inscriptions;

cannon-6

Next up, a mortar.

mortar-0

I like the face on this one even more.

mortar-1

There is a set of loops that I think were used to adjust the mortar’s elevation. I guess you’d have chains or ropes threaded through them. They are sculpted into stylized “dolphins” typical of the sort you see in Renaissance art.

mortar-2

There is a plaque for this too.

mortar-3

This is just displaying my ignorance now, but back when I first saw the art in various Warhammer Fantasy Battle books (and the corresponding Citadel figures) of artillery with faces and other grotesquery on them, I assumed it was the drug-fueled visions of John Blanche, Ian Miller, and the other Games Workshop staff artists. I didn’t realize they were just depicting how old artillery really looked.

 

Published in: on October 17, 2015 at 12:41 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://mikemonaco.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/canton-cannon/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Excellent post! Very interesting and actually good photos for a flip phone!

  2. So cool! You gotta wonder how a French cannon ended up in the Philippines 150 years after it was cast. “If these barrels could talk…”

    I had a similar reaction viz. Warhammer art; as a teenager, I honestly didn’t realize that 90 percent of the imagery of the Empire was just lifted straight from Renaissance Germany. I remember seeing a Durer print and thinking, “Hey, that knight and his horse look like they’re from the Reiksguard! What the hell?”

  3. Thank you for sharing these. It’s hard not to feel connected in some way to the folks who decorated and used these weapons. I have never seen decorations quite like these before, and I’ve seen my share of historical weapons..


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Wayne's Books

Game Gallery ~ Photo Blog

Ann's Immaterium

Writing, gaming, miniature painting, physical culture, and other dark procrastinations.

Skarloc´s

Collecting, modelling, painting and wargaming in 28mm

Dragons Never Forget

What were we talking about again?

This Stuff is REALLY Cool

Young scholars enthusiastic to tell you about COOL RESEARCH STUFF

Fail Squad Games

Tabletop games and adventures

Chuck Wendig: Terribleminds

Hey Did You Know I Write Books

Save Vs. Dragon

"We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different."--Kurt Vonnegut

POWER WORD KILL

Old School Roleplaying and related musings

Hobgoblin Orange

My return to the world of miniature figure painting and RPGs

booksandopinions.com

The Book Reviews You Can Trust!

Dawn of the Lead

Miniature wargaming and the occasional zombie

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

hosercanadian

Miniature Motivation

Take On Rules

Jeremy Friesen - a poor soul consumed by gaming.

Age of Dusk

Roleplaying, reviews and associated paraphernalia.

Roll to Disbelieve

"We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different."--Kurt Vonnegut

A Book of Creatures

A Complete Guide to Entities of Myth, Legend, and Folklore

Making the Past

Diary of an apprentice swordsmith

Ancient & Medieval Wargaming

Using De Bellis Antiquitatis, with the odd diversion...

Riffing Religion

Prophets should be mocked. I'm doing my part.

Cirsova

Magazine of Thrilling Adventure and Daring Suspense

2 Warps to Neptune

Surveying the Gen X landscape and the origins of geek

Dagger and Brush

Miniature painting, wargaming terrain tutorials, reviews, interviews and painting guides

Fractalbat

A lair for gaming, sci-fi, comics, and other geekish pursuits.

tenfootpole.org

I bought these adventure and review them so you don't have to.

9th Key Press

Maps, supplements, and inspiration for roleplaying games.

The Rambling Roleplayer Archives

This site is no longer being updated. Check out the new site at www.rpgrambler.com

The History Blog

History fetish? What history fetish?

Sheppard's Crook

The occasional blog of a closet would -be wargamer and modeller

Yesterweird

A catch all of books, games, and sundry other interests

The Weekly Sift

making sense of the news one week at a time

inthecitiesdotcom

Just another WordPress.com site

%d bloggers like this: