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Long Cecil Miniature Scale Cannon
British Anglo-Boer War
1899 - 1902
Price - R 44 400
Carriage width: 167 mm
Carriage height: 140 mm
Barrel diameter: 39 mm
Barrel length: 260 mm
Barrel bore: 9 mm
Weight Cannon: 2.4 kg
Weight Base: 9.5 kg
Granite base: 480 mm x 240 mm x 30 mm
The story behind the selection of Long Cecil
While studying in 1988, Zane met a girl from Kimberley which resulted in regular trips to the City of Diamonds. While following his second passion, he made time for his first and sourced drawings of Long Cecil from Kimberley Engineering Works and couldn't resist creating the model.
PS. Just in case you're wondering, he did marry the girl from Kimberley.
"Long Cecil" was instrumental in the successful defense of the world's richest diamond mines during the four-month siege of Kimberley by the Boers during the Anglo Boer War. Soon after the Boers laid siege of Kimberley, the British within the town realised that they needed a gun that could outrange and reply more effectively to the Boer artillery than the garrison's little mountain guns.
Commissioned by Cecil John Rhodes and designed by mine owners De Beers' Chief Engineer, George Labram, the gun took just 29 days to manufactured in the De Beers workshops (26 December - 23 January 1900). By this time the ammunition had also been made. As proof of origin, each shell had DE BEERS and a diamond shape cast into the base, while some even had WITH COMPTS CJR (Rhodes initials) stamped on the body.
The gun's first round was fired by a woman - Mrs Pickering, wife of the Secretary to the De Beers Company - after the senior Gunner, Lt-Col Chamier, refused to on the grounds that as a member of the Royal Regiment he was not permitted to fire guns not officially approved by the War Office.
During its 28 days in service Long Cecil fired 260 rounds in action, doing more firing whilst in service than any other gun in Kimberley throughout the entire siege. The gun did not see action in the war again. It was however taken to Cape Town twice during the War - once as part of an exhibition during the visit of Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, and the second time to serve as the gun carriage in Rhodes's funeral procession in March 1902. Thereafter the gun was returned to Kimberley to be placed on the Honoured Dead Siege memorial where it still stands today.
About the model
Manufacture in stainless steel and brass, this is a very special piece of South African history. If you are ever fortunate enough to visit Kimberley, do pop in to Kimberley Club to view one of Zane's models proudly on display in the pub. Alternatively one may be found in the Military Museum at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town.
Link to more pics of the model: https://www.palmersarmoury.co.za/album/long-cecil-kimberley-scale-model-cannon