Before the opening of Masterpiece London, London dealers Apter-Fredericks pledged to donate £1000 to the military charity Walking With the Wounded if they sold a pair of 19th century English cannons at the fair.
The event is held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, which is of course home to retired servicemen, so a donation to a military charity from the sale of a military object seemed fitting. Fortunately a buyer did come forward at the fair in June and last month Apter-Fredericks announced the donation to the charity, which re-educates and re-trains wounded servicemen and women.
The c.1840, 2ft bronze cannons originate from the Nanteos Mansion, a Georgian estate in Aberystwyth that has been home to the Powell family for 250 years and has a mythic history involving the Holy Grail. They are both mounted on their original oak carriages and are individually numbered.
Their unusual hammer mechanisms have been described by Philip Magreth, curator of artillery at The Royal Armouries, as "experimental" and showing "a pioneering taste".