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Thread: 6pdr Nordenfelt

  1. #1
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    6pdr Nordenfelt

    Saw this on Ebay a few weeks ago, and got if for 21 quid, googled Eynesford and it seems this was a test range used by Maxim Nordenfelt and later Vickers until post WW2. Someone had used it as a hammer and dented the case mouth which was easily sorted after annealing. My question is what is the significance of the date?
    The engraving is top quality and points towards a presentation piece. The history of the range is very interesting itself,yet I had never heard of it. Any info or extra info on the site,pics etc welcome. Cheers tig.
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    Always seeking British flares.

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    Interesting, It is in Jubilee year and there was an occasion on the 22nd - Nice to see that monogram with a date too.

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    I can tell you exactly what it was produced for.

    Eynsford is a small village in Kent, England. Very nice actually, I used to go paddling there as a child and attempt (i.e. fail) to catch small fish. As you've already learnt, the Maxim-Nordenfelt company had a range there, until they moved across to Crayford. On 24th June 1897, a visiting Chinese Minister and Envoy deigned to accept an invitation from Sigmund Loewe to visit the range in order to witness 'special trials' held there (quote taken from the Maxim-Nordenfelt Director's Minute book). I believe it may well have been Li Hung Chang returning for a second time (he visited in 1896 too), but I can't say for sure; it might have been his successor.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Hongzhang

    There had already been a bit of a kerfuffle in Parliament over the fact that Li hadn't bought anything or made any special trade deals back in February that year, so doubtless Maxim-Nordenfelt were hoping to make an impact on the fellow.

    https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1897/feb/26/class-v
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    Last edited by Ben Turnbull; 20th May 2018 at 08:09 PM.

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    After a spot more digging, here's a photograph of Loewe, Albert Vickers, Hiram Maxim, and the Chinese gents in question taken in 1896. So yes, it was likely Li Hung Chang. It was possible that he was looking for an alternative to the Maxim, I recall reading a quote somewhere whereupon being shown the maxim's fire rate, he made a statement about 'that weapon bankrupting my country in an afternoon'.
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    Hi Ben, yes it seemed a nice placed when i did a search. Funny how a simple shell case can have an interesting story! Thanks very much for the extra information and the pictures too. That explains the ornate engraving. I wonder who the recipient was. That will never be known I suppose. I will save your info and print it and put it in the case as I have a terrible memory. Best wishes Tony.
    Always seeking British flares.

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    If you're interested in the documentary evidence to pack away with it, I attach here the snippet from the Maxim-Nordenfelt Director's Minute Book. The archival reference number is VP 1201 and it's currently held at Cambridge University as part of the Vickers collection. Given that the engraving was particularly ornate, it is likely that they intended it as something of a joint souvenir/sample for the Chinese party to take home with them. How it made its way to your hands over the last century I have no idea, but I daresay that the journey must have been an interesting one!
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