Trophy Gun - 1856

During the Opium Wars of the mid-19th century, trophy guns became significant symbols of triumph. They were displayed in museums, military academies, and private collections. They provided the British public with a direct, albeit controversial, connection to the distant and exotic theaters of conflict. 

Two guns in front of the Devonport Naval Heritage Centre are outstanding examples of such artifacts. The one scanned here has the following inscription:

“This gun was cast in the imperial factory at Pekin in the year 1856 captured by the forces under the command of Admiral Sir Michael Seymour GCB at the taking of the Takoo Forts Peiho River May 20 1858 was presented by the captors to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty and brought to Keyhan Yard during the superintendence of Admiral Sir Thomas Sabine Pasley Barone T. who caused this carriage to be prepared for its reception Anno Domini 1860”