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Model cannon, muzzle loading

Key data

Before 1675

Bronze gilt, carriage of wood with enamelled plates

length of barrel 45.5 cm, calibre 15 mm

Inv. 1894.119.


The model cannon recalls an affair that turned out unpleasantly for Basle in the C17. It is first listed, with a second, identical piece that went to Liestal when the canton was split in the C19, in the armoury inventory of 1709. During the Dutch war of 1675-76, a certain Count di Broglio was staying in Basle. Giving up his incognito, he led the life of a great lord as an imperial and Spanish envoy without mission, moving in the best circles and donating two model guns to the council. During a ride in the surrounding country he was captured by the French and unmasked as an imperial spy, a certain Simon de Breuil. The French demanded that his papers be handed over and threatened economic reprisals. Many of Broglio's creditors made claims on Basle, so that after numerous court cases the council had to liquidate his property. It was decided to consign his papers "to Vulcan" (the fire). The French took de Breuil to Paris, where he probably ended his days in the Bastille.

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Basel Historical Museum
Management & administration
Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

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