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Selling: December 6, 2015

Lot 3174: Rare U.S. Civil War Era Ames Foundry Model 18

Sold for Rare U.S. Civil War Era Ames Foundry Model 18
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Rare U.S. Civil War Era Ames Foundry Model 1841 6 Pounder Cannon Dated 1855 with Provenance
Estimated Price: $65,000 - $95,000
Item Views 3 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Rare U.S. Civil War Era Ames Foundry Model 18 ManufacturerNone ModelNone
TypeOther Gauge Catalog Page72
Barrel Finish Grip
Stock ClassOther RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis impressive bronze cannon cast by The Ames Manufacturing Company Foundry measures 3.8 inches at the muzzle and is 5 feet long from the muzzle to the outside of the breech. It has the inspected marking of "US" struck on top of the tube in serif letters at the transition point, with trunion markings of "1855" (manufacture date) on one side and "AMES / FOUNDRY / CHICOPEE / MASS" visible on the opposite side. The Ames Manufacturing Company traces its roots to the factory of John Ames opened in 1774 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts and is best known for manufacturing the finest quality regulation swords, sabers and artillery to the US military in the early and mid-19th century. The 6-pounder field gun was well represented in the Civil War with several hundred used by Union and Confederate Armies in 1861. This was especially the case in the South where many former U.S. military 6-pounders were seized at the outbreak of the war by the Confederates and then used to devastating effect in the first half of the war. Artillery use was particularly gruesome at Antietam where the rolling hills allowed both sides to perch more than 500 cannons on high ground increasing their effective range and allowing them to fire down upon troops left without cover. Confederate Colonel Stephen D. Lee referred to the battlefield at Antietam as "artillery hell." By the battle's end, 22,720 men were captured, missing, wounded, or killed. Virtually any pre-1861 dated 6-pounder could have been used by Confederate forces and this gun is accompanied with solid documentation. A Wymore, Nebraska newspaper article from 1946 that states, “It was back in 1880 that Coleman Post No. 115 was organized by Captain Murdock”, (this being Charles M. Murdock, late of the 9th Kansas Cavalry). “Soon after the post was organized, Mr. Murdock and his son Arthur went to Missouri where they took the cannon from a battlefield and brought it to Wymore”. It is likely that this particular gun was abandoned by Confederate forces while retreating from Missouri, as by 1863 Union troops were being supplied with superior Napoleon 12-pounders and would have had little use nor ammunition for it. Eventually, members of the Murdock family gave the gun to American Legion Post #25 where it was mounted on “an attractive cement and brick mounting”. The newspaper article shows a photo of this gun on the mounting mentioned and is included with other documents to include; the newspaper copy, photo and short bio of Murdock, copy of a bill-of-sale dated 2001 from the American Legion Post #25, Wymore, Nebraska selling this gun to PTS Investments, chain of ownership, etc. Civil War Artillery with ANY type of provenance is ultra-rare, as is its full and clear title. Provenance; Charles M. Murdock, Veteran 9th Kansas Cavalry GAR Colman Post 115 (On Loan) Mrs. Julia Wright (Murdock Descendant) American Legion, Anderson Post 25 PTS Investments Stone Mountain Relics Steve Mullinax Collection Michael Simens Collection

ConditionVery good. The bronze tube displays an appealing mixture of aged bronze and turquoise patina and has some relatively minor patches of corrosion/pitting. The barrel is absent of sights, but has mounting holes on the breech for a percussion ignition system. The reproduction carriage (virtually all carriages on 6-pounders are reproductions) retains nearly all its green paint showing some crackling and age. The wheels and other mounts retain most of their black paint showing flaking and oxidation. The carriage is sound and is equipped with a bore mop and worm. This is a wonderful example of a rare Pre-Civil War era cannon and few 6 pounders are in private hands, much less with such extensive documentation. An impressive candidate for a museum or personal collection.
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