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Date: June 07, 2007 11:48PM
an extremely attractive, decorated Lantaka Cannon from Malaysia, dating to 1700
AD. This beautiful swiveled weapon is mounted on a modern wooden carriage.
The cannon enjoys Foliage decoration on the top. The barrel has ring
re-enforcement and "V" shaped sites.
There is a touch-hole at the top inbetween the "V", and a cylindrical
handle at the back for moving up and down.
Length of cannon: 22 inches. Dimensions of wooden carriage: 18 inches long by 9
1/2 inches high, by 9 1/2 inches wide. Provenance: Munich auction house,
Germany. Condition: Excellent. Swivel is functional.
The Lantaka was a bronze cannon used in Malaysia and Indonesia by merchant
vessels against local pirates.
These beautiful guns were mounted on swivels. Such cannons were mounted almost
anywhere including the rigging and vessel rails. Such cannons were made in the
Netherlands and Portugal, as well as locally in Malaysia and Indonesia. Local
villagers lived in fear of being taken slaves by Muslim Pirates, and the cannon
was of great comfort to them. In addition to protection against piracy, the
Lantaka was also used in transportation across 17th & 18th century Java and
Borneo - being fired for virtually all types of signaling. They were often fired
to warn a neighbouring village of impending attack by pirates and slave
merchants. Lantakas were also fired on celebratory occasions. In the 1840s
England was involved with the suppression of headhunting and piracy in Brunei. A
wealthy Englishman (Rajah James Brooke) who established the dynasty that ruled
Sarawak from 1841 until 1946, passed out many Brunei cast cannon to guarantee
the cooperation of the local chiefs. Today Lantakas are highly sought after by
collectors with some of the realized prices hitting over $50,000 for one