Military History/17th C cannonball


I run estate sales and buy/sell antiques.  I was working an estate sale for a family who has many rare 17th C items.  I spotted the cannonball (I now own it).  The family told me that this was an unfired solid shot from the 17th C.  It came from the period and not purchased in an antique store.  The family has traveled from Europe to the estates in it's history.  I do not have any expertise in authenticating artillery so I would need help.  I know it weights in around 32 pounds and the circumference (using the string method) is between 19 and 20".  The cannonball has a faint mold seam and also I can see an imperfection that would appear to be the mold vent.  I have photos if you wish to see.  Any way of telling if the period is correct? Also that this is in fact a cannonball?  Thank you


A solid 32lb shot should be around 6.25 inches in diameter.  Which would give a circumference of 19.63 inches.  So it looks to be about right.  The French and English both used 32 lb cannon in the 1600's and had standardized their artillery, using 4, 6, 8, 12, 18, 24, 32, 36 42 and 48lb projectiles.

With no armory marks, it would be hard to tell its origin.  You might make an intelligent guess if you knew the area from which it came and then researched to determine what if any military actions took place in the vicinity.   Barring that, you will just have to say you have a solid shot from the 1600's.

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Keith H. Patton


I can answer questions pertaining to weapons and tactics, personalities, battles, and strategies in european and U.S. history.


I was a history major, and had done extensive research in the subject area. I have designed and tested numerous computer games for various
historical periods.

B.A History M.S. Science
I have had the opportunity to live abroad and walk numerous battlefields both in the United States, Europe, and the Pacific.

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