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Culverin: M.4-2003

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)


Maker: Apollonio di Niccolò Perusini




Culverin or canon, bronze, patinated dark brown, ornamented with different heads of satyrs on the cascable and chase, a relief inscription 'POLONIVS NICOLAI PERVSINI FECIT MDXXXIII', and a rectangular panel enclosing a standing warrior being crowned by Victory

Culverin or canon, Bronze, cast, chased, and patinated dark brown. Cast in three circular stages with projecting trunnions, and moulded muzzle, astragals, and sighted base-ring, decorated in high relief on the front stage of the chase, and on the prominent cascable with different bearded heads of satyrs. The satyr on the chase has upstanding hair, and an open mouth with jagged teeth. The satyr on the cascable has short scrolling horns. On the rear stage of the chase there is a rectangular panel in relief enclosing a standing warrior crowned by Victory, and on the reinforce is an inscription in relief, 'POLONIVS NICOLAI PERVSINI FECIT MDXXXIII'.


History note: Probably the Duc d'Uzès; Galerie Ratton-Ladrière, 14 rue de Marignan, 75008 Paris; Peter Finer, The Old Rectory, Ilmington, Warwickshire, CV36 46Q; Danny Katz Ltd., 13 Old Bond Street, London, W1S 4SX, from whom purchased

Legal notes

Purchased with the Boscawen Fund, and a grant from the National Art Collections Fund

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (2003-12) by Daniel Katz Ltd


16th Century, Mid
Production date: AD 1533 : dated in Roman numerals MDXXXIII


It is uncertain whether the maker's name indicates Apollonio son of Niccolò (a) of Perugia, or whether Perusini was his father's second name. Perusini is a common surname in the area of Casteldurante, Marche

The muzzle of this small cannon has two 'faces' - from the side it appears to be a dragons head while from the top it is an old man. The cascable, at the very back, is a horned animal. It was probably made as a gift from one ruler, for example a prince or a king, to another but, as it completely unmarked, we will probably never know.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Barret Length 84 cm

Materials used in production

brown, artificial Patina
probably bronze Copper alloy

Techniques used in production

Casting (process) : Bronze, cast, chased, and patinated

Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On reinforce
  • Method of creation: Cast integrally
  • Type: Maker's name and date

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.4-2003
Primary reference Number: 98337
Entry form: 192
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 4 May 2021 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Culverin" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-11-29 16:20:21

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