Bronze Cannon from La Belle
Royal insignias confirmed a lost French ship
The cannons found during the excavation of La Belle were the proverbial smoking guns. This bronze cannon was one of the keys to determining that the sunken ship in the murky waters of Matagorda Bay was indeed French. The crowned "L" at the breach of the cannon is the royal crest of French King Louis XIV. The Le Comte de Vermandois insignia represented King Louis' son, Louis de Bourbon, who was Admiral of the French Fleet from 1669 until his death in 1693. Piecing the evidence together—French inscriptions, royal symbols, artifacts from the correct historical time period—archaeologists knew that the shipwreck in Matagorda Bay was La Salle's ill-fated La Belle.
Property of France from the collection of the Musée National de la Marine on loan from the Texas Historical Commission
72" Length X 14" Width X 26" Height
Time Period: 1519 - 1689
Exhibit: La Belle
This artifact is currently on view.