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  1.17 Tiger Cannon  


©Anne Buddle
Tipu Cannon, one of a pair

Bronze, with green patination; cast and chased, with tiger-head muzzle, trunnions and cascabel button.

Seringapatam 1219 M = 1790-01 A.D.

Length 164.5; breech 20.3 cm; bore diam. 6.9

Displayed at Powis Castle, Welshpool, the property of the National Trust.

he Powis guns were fired to celebrate the wedding of Edward, Viscount Clive, (younger son of the 2nd Lord Clive, Governor of Madras 1798-1803) to Lady Lucy Graham in 1818, and again in 1832, when Princess Victoria and her mother visited nearby Welshpool on 23 August. A contemporary poster announced that the 'Royal salute be immediately fired from the guns taken at Seringapatam, Lord Clive having kindly consented that they may be used on the occasion.'

One of Tipu's tiger cannons is clearly visible in engravings of 'The Storming of Seringapatam' after the panorama by Robert Ker Porter, and the 'Descriptive Sketch' of the panorama identifies (No. 17) 'One of the Brass Tyger guns of the Fort' in the bi-lingual key to the scene. The tiger-head muzzle, trunnions and cascabel are clearly visible.

Although these tiger cannon look very similar in their overall design of tiger-heads and tiger stripes, even these lumbering pieces of ordnance display a wide variety of decorative detail. Surviving examples, some bearing Persian inscriptions within tiger stripes, are at the Royal Armouries, Leeds ; Osborne House, Isle of Wight, and the Government Museum, Madras.

A miniature model of a carronade, a ship's gun of short length and large calibre, (so called after the famous Carron works in Scotland, where such guns were first made) was found at Seringapatam in 1799. It was acquired by Major Robert Bell, who had led a band of the Madras Artillery in the right column of the attack, and was subsequently appointed one of the Commissioners of Prizes.


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