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rare non-excavated American Revolutionary War era HAND GRENADE

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Click to view larger image of rare non-excavated American Revolutionary War era HAND GRENADE (Image1)
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rare non-excavated American Revolutionary War era HAND GRENADE (Image1)
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Your Price: $ 595.00
Item Number: 4496
 

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Offered here is an extremely rare example of an original non excavated cast iron grenade. Known in the period as a smokepotor grenadoe (old spelling) this hollow cast, iron sphere of approximately 3 inched in diameter, and weighing roughly 4 pounds, was the forerunner of the modern hand grenade. This original non excavated example retains its carved wooden fuse plug and glazed cotton and black powder fuse. (The powder cavity is empty.) Well documented by virtue of site excavation, existing examples when found are generally fragmented and scattered. The rare exception of a complete shell is to be found only as a result of miss-fire with failure of the original to explode. Examples of complete excavated spheres may be found in only the best public and private collections (see: American Revolutionary War artifact collections of Valley Forge and the Smithsonian) and are seldom offered on the open market. As to original, non-fragmented, non-excavated, period grenades, this is the only such example we have observed in over fifty years of paying attention to such things in every venue imaginable to include public and private collections, auctions, antique shops, shows et all.
Crudely cast of black iron in the classic open hearth, two piece sand mold method, the end result was a tennis ball size hollow iron sphere with thick walls and a Ύ inch hole which allowed the sphere to be filled with black powder. The touch-hole was then secured by insertion of a wood plug fitted with a heavy black powder fuse. Too heavy to be thrown very far, a heavy iron grenade with lighted fuse when lobed over a revetment wall, tossed into a troop placement or over the gunnels of a Man of War would surely offer a devastating effect. While we have categorized this example as Revolutionary War based on the thickness of the casting and size of the opening in comparison with known period examples, Civil War collector historians will be reminded of the Confederate so-called Selma grenade produced at the Selma, Alabama Confederate arsenal. That hand grenade seems virtually identical except that examples we have seen have thinner walls and a bit larger opening. They apparently saw some service as battlefield recoveries occasionally turn up. (see: ARMS HERITAGE Feb. 2015 issue)
Buy with confidence! We are pleased to offer a no questions asked three day inspection with return as purchased on direct sales! Just send us a courtesy e-mail to let us know your item will be returned per these provisions and your purchase price will be refunded accordingly. Thanks for visiting Gunsight Antiques!



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