17th-century Chinese cannon fires $149,500 salvo at Cowan’s
CINCINNATI – A 17th-century Chinese Qing Dynasty cannon, estimated at $10,000-$15,000, brought $149,500 today at Cowan’s Historic Firearms and Early Militaria auction. The price includes a 15% buyer’s premium.
Two phone bidders battled competitively for nearly five minutes over the cannon, which was the opening lot of the sale. Made in 1695, the cannon is significant in that its design was inspired by the noted Flemish Jesuit Missionary and Imperial confidant Ferdinand Verbiest.
Only 17 cast guns bearing Verbiest’s name are known to exist, and most are in European museums. The cannon was taken from the Ha Ta gate during the Boxer Rebellion and the multinational attack on the walls of the Tartar City, Aug. 13 and 14, 1900. After the event, Colonel Webb C. Hayes, son of President Rutherford B. Hayes, shipped the gun to the United States as a war souvenir.
A similar cannon sold for £45,000 ($74,400) in London in June 2010.
About Cowan’s Auctions:
As one of the nation’s leading auction houses with sales approaching $20 million, Cowan’s has been helping individuals and institutions build important collections for more than a decade. The company’s four divisions of American History, American Indian and Western Art, American and European Fine and Decorative Art, and Historic Firearms & Early Militaria hold semiannual cataloged sales, with Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.com, that routinely set records for rare offerings. Visit Cowan’s online at www.cowans.com.
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