The Carron Company of gun founders began casting guns in Falkirk, Stirlingshire in 1761. The factory's most famous class of ordnance was the carronade, of which the present lot is a presentation model, designed by General Melville and/or Charles Gascoigne. The carronade, also known as 'the smasher', was a short barrelled ship's cannon capable of firing heavy gauge and heavy weight shells. The size of the cannon meant that they could be carried by smaller ships, greatly increasing their fire-power. This was of particular importance to the British Navy, with its large number of smaller ships, in competition with the French whose fewer ships carried more guns.