The Cannon


The cannon is one out of two standing in front of Peter von Scholten’s official residence on Sct. Croix. When the M/S Selandia was to bring back the last items after the sale to the USA, the purser asked if the canons were not going too. The ambassador answered that they might let them stay. The purser had apparently fallen in love with the canons and asked if he could not take them with him. He was allowed to do so if he served a big glass of whisky for the ambassador every night on their way back.

The present owner bought the canon on the picture from a taxi driver, who told the story. It was his grandfather who was the purser. The other canon is also privately owned. There are two more canons of the same kind at the Royal Arsenal Museum in Copenhagen.

The canon is a so called Swingbasse. An estimated 700 of them were produced. It is a fairly small canon, but it can cause serious damage on another vessel. The hole from the canon is only smaller than from other normal canons. The muzzle is app. 9,5 cm compared with 12-15 cm for other canons. The canons were produced to compensate the ones the English took with them as booty, when we were defeated during the wars with Britain in the early 19th century. The small size was chosen so that more canons could be produced from the amount of bronze available. In spite its small size it takes four broad-shouldered men to carry the canon.


This information comes from the owner of the canon who has allowed us to use the picture if full anonymity is granted.