French sundial cannon, marked "roussea,fecit a paris". Old brown patina.
These were made as a gimmick to the wealthy to show to guests. Anyone who had a large strolling garden would have a marble pedestal with this sitting on top. You can set the time you want the cannon to go off by changing the angle of the magnifying glass to an arch, creating the desired degree to enable the touch-hole on the cannon to be ignited by the heat from the sun going through the magnifying glass. The cannon would then go off on the desired time of day. A lot of times it would be at lunchtime, announcing that food is being served. Obviously these are quite rare and this one is an exceptionally ornate piece. Metal base, which is also calibrated by the hours and minutes. Ruosseau was a well known gun maker in his time. Fine condition.
Height 8", diameter 8"