A rare German army 7.7cm Field Gun shell case dinner gong, on a wooden base. The brass shell case dates from 1910, and is stamped on the base with various reference numbers and markings, including: ’Rh M F, ‘68’, ’Sep 0/10’, ‘Crown 27’, ’St’, and ‘Dusseldorf'. 'Rh MF’ stands for the manufacturer - the Rheinische Munitions Fabrik, ’St’ means the shell case was strengthened, the Crown mark and number 27 are the Prussian acceptance stamps, and ’68’ is the lot number.
The case is suspended above its wooden base by a clever combination of a metal pin inside the case (sited where the primer would have been) which locates inside a metal tube on the base (see photos). The case then ‘floats’ just above the brass plate on the wooden base. The whole thing has been very well done and the result is a very unusual, and highly decorative item.
7.7cm F.K. 96 Gun: The The 7.7 cm Feldkanone 96 neuer Art (7.7 cm FK 96 n.A.) was a field gun used by Germany in WW1. The gun combined the barrel of the earlier 7.7 cm FK 96 with a recoil system, a new breech and a new carriage. Existing FK 96s were upgraded over time. The FK 96 n.A. was shorter-ranged, but lighter than the French Canon de 75 modèle 1897 or the British Ordnance QF 18 pounder gun. The Germans placed a premium on mobility, which served them well during the early stages of WW1. However, once the front had become static, the greater rate of fire of the French gun and the heavier shells fired by the British gun put the Germans at a disadvantage. The Germans remedied this by developing the longer-ranged, but heavier 7.7 cm FK 16. As with most guns of its era, the FK 96 n.A. had seats for two crewmen mounted on its splinter shield. The 7.7cm gun remained in service with the armies of Finland, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia until the 1930s.
In very good condition, with minor signs of wear and use and some small marks. The shell case is in very good condition, and the markings on the base are crisp and clear. The wooden base is in very good condition.
Brass Case base diameter: 91mm, Shell case length: 227mm