EARLY PATTERN GUNNER’S LEVEL

$1,975.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 413-222

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This gunner’s level follows the general lines of the U.S. arsenal marked examples we have seen from the 1850s into the Civil War, but is unmarked and differs in some minor points, which leads us to suspect it is an early, commercial, or even southern made example. The gunner’s level enables an artillery crew to correctly sight a piece even if not on level ground. Constructed of heavy sheet brass, the bottom is cut out in the form of a crescent with two prongs that would rest on the upper sides of a cannon barrel. A horizontal spirit level, mounted parallel to a line drawn between the points of the crescent, enables the gunner to determine when it is level. A perpendicularly mounted vertical steel slider with a pointed end can then be lowered to the surface of the barrel at its base, touching its highpoint, which can then be marked with chalk and used in sighting by the gunner.

This has a nice undisturbed, age patina to the brass with minor age spotting, with spirit level and steel pointer with small brass top knob in place and intact. This instrument differs in not having a step to the upper sides of its top curve, but has sides rising in one continuous line to its top center. The spirit level is attached in the conventional way, mounted on a brass shelf that is screwed to the plate. The slider has a similar guide bracket screwed in place, and a short brass knob at top. The level and shelf are somewhat wider than on some other examples. We also note that the tips of the crescent are rounded steel, as is correct, but do use barrel rests, just rounded ends.

This would be an essential piece in an artillery display of gunner’s tools and equipment and an interesting variation for the advanced collector.  [sr] [ph:m/L]

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