Lot 1    

17th Century Qing Dynasty Cannon Captured in Boxer Rebellion
4/27/2011 - Historic Firearms & Historic Militaria
An 800lb. cast bronze cannon, 3" diameter bore, 3" diameter trunnions, overall 63.5", with prolific Chinese and Manchurian characters at the breech. Includes period wooden wheels and metal straps which held together the carriage, now derelict.

Ironclad provenance relates that this gun was one of three nearly identical cannons captured in the proximity of the Ha Ta gate during the multi-national attack on the walls of the Tartar City August 13-14, 1900 during the Relief of Peking. The guns were shipped back to the United States as war souvenirs by Colonel Webb. C. Hayes, CMOH, 31st US Infantry who had served as Volunteer A.D.C. on the staff of Major General Adna R. Chaffee commanding the US contingent during the China Relief Expedition. Chaffee is also known as creator of the Military Order of the Dragon and the force behind the issue of campaign medals in the American military.

The gun made in 1695 is significant in that its design was inspired by the noted Flemish Jesuit Missionary and Imperial confidant Ferdinand Verbiest (1623-1688). The tube bears the names of several important Imperial cannon makers and overseers who had cast guns for the Manchu Emperor under the Verbiest's supervision. Parenthetically, just seventeen Verbiest cast guns bearing his name are known to exist, mainly in European museums. The heavy weight of this gun suggests that it was originally intended as part of a static defense. Warfare during the Qing dynasty favored smaller cannon that were more easily transported in the field. Etched into the breech the inscriptions are in Chinese and Manchurian phonetically written in the Mongolian alphabet and translate as follows:

Made on the 34th year of the reign of Emperor Kangxi [1695] at Jingshan Nei [inside Beijing]

Cannon Titled: General Zhisheng

Specification: Powder capacity 1 jin 8 lians [900 grams equivalent]. Iron cannon ball 3 jins [1800 grams equivalent]. Long range shot should be set at 45 degrees with slightly more powder added from top.

Credits: General Manufacturer Executive: Hai Qing-Imperial Guard 1st Class [highly prestigious 3rd ranking military official]

Manufacturer Overseer: Ba Fa Shou-Titled Manufacture Administrator [4th ranking civil official]

Documentation: Shuo Si Tai and Ge Er Tu [low ranking civil officials]

Casting Masters: Li Wende and Yuan Shi [Chinese, not Manchurian names]

It is difficult to say whether the bronze guns were captured in a particular action involving the American contingent or taken in situ from the southern wall adjoining the Chinese city after the fighting was over. Russian, American, and British troops were engaged near the Ta Ha gate during the uncoordinated assault of August 13-14 while zones of control for the various nationalities were not formalized until after the cessation of hostilities. That guns were plentiful is illustrated in the book Military Order of the Dragon, 1900-1911, p.33 showing at least twenty “captured Chinese cannon” parked in a row.

In a letter dated 9 May 1901 written at Spiegel Grove, Fremont, Ohio Lieutenant Colonel Webb Hayes described the background of his war souvenirs: Dear Mr.xxxx, I am happy to announce the arrival here of the Tartar bronze cannon which I found as part of the defense of the Ha Ta Gate of the Tartar City of Peking. These three guns were supposed to have been brought to Peking when the Mongols or Tartars conquered the Chinese some four hundred years ago and established the present reigning Tartar dynasty. These guns were used not only in bombarding the Legation but also against the allies, so it is said, and were the most interesting guns from a curio standpoint found on top of the Tartar wall of the city of Peking. The inscription on the cannon I hope can be deciphered. There were but three of these guns on the wall of Peking, and all were under Russian jurisdiction but through the efforts of Lt. Colonels [Joseph T.] Dickman [U.S.V., General Chaffee's Assistant Chief of Staff] and [Henry O.] Heistand, both Ohio men, I secured the promise of them all. Unfortunately, however, the Russians surrendered the care of the Ha Ta Gate to the Germans and with it the control of these guns, so that the whole question had to be taken up again. The three guns were hauled to Tung Chow some 15 or 20 miles and then dismantled an placed on Chinese junks for the 100 mile trip down the Pei Ho (River) to Tein Tsin (illegible)-then by rail to Tong Ku some thirty miles-then by lighter to the transport off Taku and thence to San Francisco. I believe that these are the only Chinese cannon brought to the United States. Very Truly Yours, (signed) Webb C. Hayes,

One of the distinctive bronze guns was presented to West Point and can be viewed in the museum’s artillery collection—Trophy Point—online.

James Webb Cook Hayes (1856-1934) was a lawyer and Ohio industrialist, born the second son of Republican President and former Civil War general Rutherford B. Hayes. During the Spanish American War Hayes enlisted as major of the 1st Ohio Cavalry and while detached as aide to General Young was slightly wounded during the Santiago campaign. As a staff officer Hayes accompanied General Miles to Puerto Rico. In July 1899 Hayes was promoted to lieutenant colonel, 31st U.S.V. Infantry and won a Medal of Honor on December 4, 1899 for heroism at Vigan, Luzon, Philippine Islands. Hayes went to China during the Boxer Rebellion as a volunteer aide-de-camp on the staff of Major General Chaffee and later acted as an observer in Korea during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904-05. During the First World War, Colonel Hayes held administrative posts in France and Italy and was promoted to brigadier general after the war. A number of photographs found in Military Order of the Dragon, 1900-1911, an organization with which Hayes was closely associated, depict the officer in China during the Boxer Rebellion.

A rare and richly historic 17th artifact taken as a war souvenir during the famed China Relief Expedition of 1900.

Very good condition with a nice untouched patina.
Sold: $149,500.00
Price includes
Buyer's Premium
      Ask a Question

All Images

*Remington Model 1100 Limited Edition
Lot # 690 - *Remington Model 1100 Limited Edition
12 ga., 28" modified choke barrel, S/N LE80-2309. Blue finish with etched and gold washed hunting scenes on receiver, deluxe walnut stocks. One of 3000 produced in 1980. > Item Details
Custom Made Knife by <i>J. Poag</i>
Lot # 530 - Custom Made Knife by J. Poag
9" blade, 14" overall. Wells Fargo Bowie knife with scroll engraving and wagon robbery scene on right side of blade, trimmed in German silver with 14K gold overlay, ATS-34 blade. Coco Bolo handle. Leather scabbard with scroll engraved plate with two cowboys and Wells Fargo in riband. Housed in walnu... > Item Details
US WWI Early Tankers Corps Tunic and Breeches
Lot # 331 - US WWI Early Tankers Corps Tunic and Breeches
Wool four-pocket tunic with collar discs; early tri-color sleeve patch, armor rank insignia; tankers patch on right sleeve. > Item Details
Silver Mounted Queen Ann Percussion Pistol
Lot # 170 - Silver Mounted Queen Ann Percussion Pistol
.625 bore diameter, 6" screw barrel, raised carved beaver tail behind tang. Sterling silver panoply of arms; sterling silver mask butt. > Item Details
*Winchester Model 60A Sporter Bolt Action Single Shot Rifle
Lot # 437 - *Winchester Model 60A Sporter Bolt Action Single Shot Rifle
.22 LR caliber, 23" barrel, no S/N. Walnut checkered sporter stock. > Item Details
*Lot of 3 Long Guns
Lot # 704 - *Lot of 3 Long Guns
1) Universal Firearms M1 Carbine, .30 caliber, 18" barrel, S/N 124000. Blue finish, walnut stocks, Western Field 2.5x20 scope with clear optics. Excellent with an excellent bore. It retains ca 98% original blue finish and wood is excellent. 2) Stevens Favorite single shot rifle, .22 caliber, 23" ba... > Item Details
*Custom Winchester Model 70 Heavy Barrel Target
Lot # 456 - *Custom Winchester Model 70 Heavy Barrel Target
.219 Donaldson Wasp caliber, 27" heavy barrel, S/N 505609. The heavy tapered barrel measures .85" across the muzzle and 1.2" at the chamber end; marked Ray Morgan, New Haven, Conn., .219 Don Wasp. Walnut target stock. > Item Details
*Colt Single Action Army Commemorative Revolver
Lot # 299 - *Colt Single Action Army Commemorative Revolver
.44-40 caliber with extra .44 spl. cylinder, 7.5" barrel, S/N SA49111. Blue finish, gold etching. 1 of 1000 with slogan on left side of barrel God created man, Col. Colt made them equal. Walnut display case with a nail removed from the original Colt Armorer's residence during the 1981 restoration. > Item Details
*Colt New Frontier Buntline Commemorative
Lot # 565 - *Colt New Frontier Buntline Commemorative
.45 LC caliber, 12" barrel, S/N NB1716. Nickel finish, black hard rubber grips, walnut display case. > Item Details
US M-1890 Cavalry Enlisted Man's Pith Helmet with Plume
Lot # 231 - US M-1890 Cavalry Enlisted Man's Pith Helmet with Plume
This black body pith helmet has gold cavalry plume. Enlisted front plate and cavalry buttons. > Item Details
US Spanish-American War Tunics, Lot of Two
Lot # 240 - US Spanish-American War Tunics, Lot of Two
Tan summer weight tunic with yellow shoulder boards to denote Cavalry. Tunic retains all eagle buttons. Second is a tan summer weight tunic with blue collar and blue shoulder boards to denote Infantry unit. Infantry tunic Id'd to Pvt. Ira Washburne and has his death notice and a copy document. > Item Details
*WWII Remington 03-A3 Bolt Action Rifle
Lot # 366 - *WWII Remington 03-A3 Bolt Action Rifle
.30-06 cal., 24" barrel, S/N 4094003, parkerized finish. Walnut stocks, 9-43 barrel date. > Item Details
Early 19th Century German Military Flagon
Lot # 762 - Early 19th Century German Military Flagon
17" tall pewter flagon (tankard cup with cover), marked on bottom TAK with Libra statue. Believed mfg. in early 19th century Germany, this has nine 17th and 18th century German coins as pendants; top features a Napoleonic-era German soldier. It is inscribed in German Das enbrarehandwerck der mauber... > Item Details
*Rare Remington 40X Sporter Bolt Action Rifle
Lot # 428 - *Rare Remington 40X Sporter Bolt Action Rifle
.22 LR caliber, 24" barrel, S/N 40148B. Blue finish, walnut checkered Monte Carlo stock with rosewood fore end tip and grip cap, 5-shot magazine. > Item Details
*Winchester Model 77 Semi-Automatic Rifle
Lot # 422 - *Winchester Model 77 Semi-Automatic Rifle
.22 LR caliber, 22" barrel, S/N 95980. Blue finish, walnut stock. > Item Details
Westley Richards Percussion Double-Barrel  Side-by-Side Cased Shotgun
Lot # 382 - Westley Richards Percussion Double-Barrel Side-by-Side Cased Shotgun
12 bore, 29.25" barrels choked mod/mod. Walnut stock, cleaning rod and accessories, brass cap dispenser, nipple wrench, leather shot flask, oiler, powder measure, patches, caps, oak case. > Item Details
*Ruger / Lyman 1878 Centennial Commemorative Rifle
Lot # 686 - *Ruger / Lyman 1878 Centennial Commemorative Rifle
.45-70 caliber, 28" barrel, S/N 131-41027 (L-78-0768). Blue finish, engraved receiver, walnut checkered stocks, tubular 4X Lyman Century scope. Reloading dies, bullet mold, cleaning rod, cartridge cases, Lyman book, and all papers. Housed in a fitted walnut case. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20