Many of the cannons in the Rijksmuseum were used in naval battles. For instance, the museum owns a spectacular collection of Dutch East India Company (VOC) cannons of different calibres (size). The bronze types that could fire balls weighing 18 or even 24 pounds, such as those on the VOC ship De Witte Leeuw, are particularly impressive. Cannons captured from the enemy have also found their way into the museum. A fine example is the Naga cannon with a muzzle in the shape of a dragon’s head.

Cannons were also used against the enemy on land. In the Middle Ages this was done with a large bombard (one of the first cannons). The collection of artillery models owned by the City of Amsterdam and administered by the museum gives a good impression of what soldiers used on the battlefield in the 18th century.
The Rijksmuseum owns around 200 cannons, including the models.



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