The Belle originally carried four bronze cannon stored in the main hold below the deck. When the Texas Historical Commission discovered the vessel in 1995, three of them remained. Each cannon weighs approximately 800 pounds and is five feet eleven inches long. The guns were called "four-pounders" because they fired iron balls weighing four pounds apiece.

Cannon with crest Close-up of one of the Belle's bronze cannon. Note the crest of "Le Comte de Vermandois," which helped identify and date the ship.

Each gun bears two crests. The L and Crown near the breach constitute the royal crest of King Louis XIV, known as the Sun King. Further forward on the gun, near the muzzle, two crossed anchors and a banner represent the Count of Vermandois, Admiral of France and son of King Louis XIV. These crests helped date the gun to the period of Louis XIV and identify the vessel as the Belle.

Crest Crest of the French King Louis XIV, who reigned from 1643 to 1715.

Photos: courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission.