Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 177: Revere Copper Co. Napoleon 12-Pounder Model 1857 Light Field Gun

Auction Date: May 14, 2021

Incredible Civil War 1863 Dated Revere Copper Co. Napoleon 12-Pounder Model 1857 Light Field Gun with Field Carriage

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $70,000 - $110,000

Incredible Civil War 1863 Dated Revere Copper Co. Napoleon 12-Pounder Model 1857 Light Field Gun with Field Carriage

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
Gauge:
Barrel:
Finish:
Grip:
Stock:
Item Views: 1271
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 174
Class: Other
Description:

Though weighing over 1,200 pounds, the 12-pounder Napoleon field guns or "gun-howitzers" were considered light artillery and were the most widely used artillery pieces of the Civil War, and the Revere Copper Co. manufactured more of them than another other foundry, 461 of the roughly 1,157 manufactured in the North during the war (see page 91 of "Field Artillery Weapons of the Civil War" by Hazlett). Additional Revere Napoleons appear to have been made for individual states. 36% of the Union artillery pieces at Gettysburg were Napoleons, and 130 Napoleons were used by the Union forces at Antietam. The company was the descendant of Paul Revere's foundry in Boston. The Napoleon 12-pounders could fire solid shot or explosive shells nearly a mile (max range of 1,600+ yards) as well as shot for closer range engagements. They are also historically significant as the last cast bronze cannons used by the U.S. military. The muzzle is marked "No. 234 REVERE COPPER CO 1240 lbs. T.J.R. 1863" and has a post front sight. The tube has "U.S." in ornate letters on top near the trunnions. The ornate nature of this marking is one of the distinctive aspects of the Revere guns. The bore at the muzzle measures approximately 4.62 inches. A cannon ball marked "LODGED/IN/NAPOLEAN/#243 [sic]" in white paint is included. Include notes state that the barrel was spiked and this ball was lodge halfway down and also reference the Stafford carriage and indicate this Napoleon was fired in competition in June of 2020 at the American Artillery Association and North-South Skirmish Nationals in Winchester, Virginia.

Rating Definition:

Very good with mostly bright tube and mild overall wear such as some general dings and scratches, light oxidation on the iron components, and minimal paint loss. This is a very attractive piece of American Civil War artillery fired just last year!



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