Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 91: Revolutionary War Verbuggen Style Three Pound Grasshopper Cannon

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Revolutionary War Attributed Verbruggen Style 3-Pounder "Grasshopper" Cannon with Carriage

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $15,000 - $25,000

Revolutionary War Attributed Verbruggen Style 3-Pounder "Grasshopper" Cannon with Carriage

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
Gauge: 3 inch
Item Views: 1182
Item Interest: Very Active
Catalog Page: 114
Class: Other

Appointed to the heavy artillery foundry at the Hague in 1755, Jan Verbruggen was responsible for introducing horizontal boring (a Swiss invention) to the Netherlands, which had the potential to greatly increase the consistency and speed of cannon boring. Verbruggen experienced a number of political and mechanical problems at his post and was finally run out of the country along with his son Pieter in 1770 after it was discovered that he had been altering and repairing his cannons between boring and proofing to obscure flaws in the casting process. Relocating to England, Jan and Pieter accepted positions with the Royal Brass Foundry at Woolwich, which they helped turn from an outdated facility to one of the top producers in the empire. By the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the Verbruggens had Woolwich up to speed, with some sources naming the Verbruggen as the most commonly recovered cannons on the battlefields of the War of Independence. The 3-pounder, nicknamed the "Grasshopper" was designed for use by light infantry units, being light enough to be transported by a single horse, strapped to pack animals, or broken down and hauled by men across terrain that would be inaccessible for heavier weapons. This reproduction Verbruggen style cannon measures 47 inches long from muzzle to rear tip and 11 inches wide at the trunnions, with a bore measuring 3 inches. The only visible marking is a "2" on the right trunnion. The green reproduction carriage with black iron hardware has a wheel height of 40 inches and measures approximately 60 inches wide. The reproduction carriage is fitted with iron bound 12 spoke wheels, an elevation wheel, and includes a vent pick. Measures approximately 82 inches in overall length as it sits with the cannon in the carriage.

Rating Definition:

Fine, the brass cannon exhibits an attractively aged darkened patina with traces of weathered black paint visible on the tube. The reproduction carriage is very good with most of its green painted finish, some large cracks underneath the trunnion area, and half of the black painted finish on the iron fittings.

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