An Interesting and Wonderful Antique 2-Pounder Bronze Cannon

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An Interesting and Wonderful Antique 2-Pounder Bronze Cannon, circa. 18th - possibly 19th Century.  44.5" bronze tube with a 2" bore.  The trunnions measure about 2" in diameter and 9.75" wide.  Most likely made in Europe based on the form for an Arabic country or manufactured in an Arabic country based on a European design.  The vent or touch-hole is surrounded by a raised platform that originally had a vent cover (now missing).  The muzzle has some impact marks resulting in some small pieces missing.  The cannon was cast with a recoil rope ring just above cascabel. Overall, the cannon has a very pleasing age patina.  There are what we believe are Arabic numbers cast or chiseled on both ends of the trunnions.  A fantastic example of a ship or garrison cannon !!!

NOTE:  It is our opinion:  This cannon may have been made in Europe for one of the Arabic countries.  Or, the cannon was made in an Arabic country based on European designs.  Or, the cannon was made in Europe, captured, and the Arabic numbers were added at a later date.

We are researching the markings.  We are not experts in Arabic.  We believe the translated numbers are "1286".  Encountering three or four Arabic numbers usually indicates a date.  This may be an inventory number ?

If the number was a date:  The conversion of an Arabic date (A.H., Anno Hegiri) to a Gregorian date (A.D.) can be accomplished by this quick method: 

1. Translate the A.H. date (1286).

2. Multiply the A.H. date by .97 (.97 X 1286 = 1247)

3. Add 622 to the resultant (622 + 1247 = 1869)

It is not impossible but highly unlikely that this cannon was made in the year 1869 based on the form and by that time, cannon technology had improved greatly rendering the old style muzzle-loading cannons obsolete.  So we can only speculate what the numbers mean.  Some cannons are unmarked and others may only have minimal markings.  The best cannons are encountered with foundry marks indicating maker, country of origin, date, inventory number, weight, and length markings.  Cannons with all of these marking are rare but not unheard of.

Anyone willing to provide us with additional information or opinions, are always welcome.  Please email us at

THE WOOD CARRIAGE:  The wood carriage is old and very well built.  When it was made for the cannon is unknown but It looks great and perfect for display.   It does include the elevation block.


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