Significance of Markings on Vicker 37mm Shell?


I have recently picked up this shell but cannot find any info or relevance
to the additions.(Markings) (Placenia De Las Armas 1902)
Any information would be gratefully received
Many thanks in advance.

Can we see the bottom of it, the headstamp?

As Vlad said in his post it would help to have a picture of the cartridge case base and if the projectile is loose what if any markings are on the base or on the side near the base of the projectile ( such as VSM with or without an arrow ).

Welcome to the IAA forum!


Recordbloke, very interesting round, thanks for posting this pictures and welcome to the forum.

Placencia de las Armas is not located in Belize but in Guipúzcoa, Basque Country, Spain. In 1887 a British branch called The Placencia de las Armas Co. Ld. was established in London and in 1897 the factory located in Spain became a subsidiary of Vickers Sons and Maxim Ld. After 1927 it continued under the ownership of Vickers-Armstrong Ld. until the outbreak of the civil war in 1936.

This style of Damascene artwork is typical of Eibar and Toledo, and it is usually found in many different types of projectiles.


Thanks for the correction. I should know better than to jump in ahead of you!



Be careful in handling that round. The projectile is loose in the case neck and has started to force its way down inside the case and the first cracks are showing at the mouth of the case. If you pick it up and put it down too firmly it will move a little further into the case.


Welcome to the forum, Recordbloke! Super interesting round.

Fede, I am always amazed by the diversity of ammunition knowledge you posses.

Question, you mentioned, “This style of Damascene artwork is typical of Eibar and Toledo, and it is usually found in many different types of projectiles.” I am curious, is art work like this put on as a display or for some type of promotion, or is part of the factory production on all rounds produce to be actually loaded and fired? I have seen trench art and company promotional items stating known victories at specific battle locations or the 1,000,000 round produced kinda thing, but never made for actual use.

I would be real interested in seeing other “decorated” rounds that were made to be fired. Could be an interesting collecting niche?


Thanks for all the info. most appreciated.
I have included another pair of shells which I believe are Boer War (Hoping they are.) Defos Pretoria

Jason, it is very hard to say who made it or when it was made, but this type of artwork was usually made by local artisans to commemorate certain battles or just as souvenirs. Also, it is possible that this is a souvenir of the town bearing this name and actually not related to the weapons factory.

Thanks again, Fede! :-)

These were made during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902) by Delfos Brothers in Pretoria.

Of interest to small arms ammunition collectors it is worth mentioning that Delfos was also involved in the remanufacture of 7x54 Mauser cartridges.