ORIGINAL AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR BAR SHOT, EAST BAY AREA, OFF LAKE CHAMPLAIN

$2,295.00

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Item Code: 1081-02

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Travel and transport were infinitely easier by water than by land in the American wilderness and Lake Champlain was a vital link between Quebec and the upper Hudson. The area thus became a battleground as Americans first struck north, and then tried to block the British moving south to cut off the New England colonies. Perhaps the best known engagement is the Battle of Valcour Island, fought in October 1776 between British ships and a hastily constructed and armed American fleet under Benedict Arnold.

This is a relic of the fighting in the area, a bar shot found in the East Bay area off Lake Champlain. This is iron, of course, American, and measures about 10 inches long and about 3 ¼ inches maximum diameter, a tad too large for a three-pounder and making it likely for a six-pound gun or perhaps a French four-pounder. Ordnance, particularly American ordnance, was rather international: the bow gun of Arnold’s gunboat Philadelphia, for instance was an old Swedish twelve-pounder. See Neuman and Kravic, Collector’s Illustrated Encyclopedia, page 12 number 15, for an example identical to this one.

Bar shot could vary somewhat in the shape of the ends or the contour of the connecting rod. This style uses a substantial round bar that flares out at the ends. Whatever the particular form, the intent was the same: to introduce some instability in flight, particularly after it first hit something, which would cause the projectile to cut a wide path, a thing particularly desirable when firing at the complex and vital rigging of sailing ships.

This has overall oxidation and light pitting, but is solid, with no scaling or deep corrosion and is in excellent condition. It has a nice even brown color with a few rubs to light brown, was recovered in the Lake Champlain area, and displays very nicely.

This is an original Revolutionary War bar shot that merits a place in an advanced collection.  [sr]

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