Image Lot Price Description



SN 2024. Cal. 37mm. 51″ bbl. This exquisitely and professionally restored orig “one pounder” Maxim Nordenfelt automatic cannon is one of only very few extent of the early model. When found these are normally badly deteriorated having been exposed to the elements for decades, often as part of municipal historical monuments. This extraordinary specimen has the correct color gray paint covering the sideplates with a massive brass feed block incorporating an attractive wooden roller. It sets on an orig correct albeit non-matching SN Naval cone mount with brass cradle; the entire display piece is on a custom made wheeled dolly, making it manageable to move around. Actuating arm, feed slide, pawls and pins not present in feed block, nor is bolt present in receiver. Orig mainspring is included but not installed as the tabbed ends are not serviceable. Trigger bar, hand grip, cover, charging handle and external levers present and appear serviceable. Impressive orig brass spring cover also present on left side. Elevation adjustment wheel non-functional, however, steel pins and adjustable shaft allow one to display this piece pointing any number of positions of a wide vertical arc. Traverses smoothly through 360 degrees. This impressive display piece is non-functional due to missing the parts mentioned above and it is important to note that although this model is an automatic cannon with a rifled bore diameter greater than 1/2″ it has been declared “exempt” from the provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA). A copy of a BATF letter attesting to this fact for this model is provided. This model is of significant historical interest as it was originally manufactured in 1889 as part of a thirty gun initial production run (This class of Maxim started at #2001). The first sale of gun #2024, with 5 others was made to the Minister of Marine, St Petersburg, Russia in March of 1895. All six guns were rejected due to defects and were returned to the factory and rebuilt. The top cover is marked with the issue/rebuild date of 1895. The company was reorganized in 1897 and conducted business as Vickers, Sons and Maxim (VSM), thus there are VSM inspection stamps on the gun. It is clear that the gun was sold, used, factory rebuilt and remarked before ourchase by the U.S. Navy in the first days of the Spanish American War. This gun was included in the first group of sixteen guns that the U.S. Navy purchased in March of 1898. This very gun, Navy Registery number 5, along with gun #2026 registry #6 were placed on the MANNING, a U.S. revenue Cutter, in April 1898, at Norfolk U.S. Navy Yard, according to the records of the U.S. Bureau of Ordnance. The Manning was taken into U.S. Naval service and participated in the bombardment of Spanish positions off Cabanas, Cuba on May 12th 1898. Eventually, Maxim 1 Pdr. Automatic Guns of this type were declared obsolete in the years 1911/1912 and were removed from ships during this period. PROVENANCE: RG 74 Records of the Bureau of Ordnance; Record of Armament of Naval Vessals, 1841-1903; Registry of Mounts for Secondary Battery, 1888-1913. Pgs 116 and 118-E131 CONDITION: Overall appearance and finish is absolutely outstanding as restored with the brass jacket exhibiting a pleasing patina with a commensurate finish on the brass feed block and other brass parts. Metal sideplate exhibit correct gray Navy paint. Orig brass spring housing simply outstanding. Trigger bar shows evidence of significant old pitting but is completely serviceable. Bore is moderately pitted but retains significant rifling. The “one pounder”, 1.457″ cartridge coupled with its manageable 250-300 rounds per minute rate of fire was extremely effective and could perforate a 1″ iron plate at 100 yards. Should a person be able to locate or fabricate the remaining parts, with the appropriate expertise, this gun could likely be restored to an operating condition. This cataloger is not aware of any source of orig solid steel projectile ammunition nor of a belt which would accommodate it, however, this specimen in this condition provides a unique opportunity for the advanced U.S. Military and Navy ordnance collector to acquire one of the most impressive and attractive pieces of Navy ordnance ever to come to public auction. The fact that records indicate it first went to Russia, and then later was in U.S. Naval Service during the Spanish American War make this a gun of noteworthy interest. 50927-1 JWK80 (150,000-250,000) – Lot 3034

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Auction: Firearms - October 2016
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.