Powder Flask

Powder Flask

c. 1580

Staghorn (two branches) carved with relief, scene of David and Bathsheba; iron suspension loop; mounts missing

Overall: 16.9 x 11.1 cm (6 5/8 x 4 3/8 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1906

Description

Powder flasks are small, portable containers designed to hold gunpowder. From the 1400s to the 1800s, powder flasks were indispensable for charging and priming firearms of all types. Without powder flasks firearms were of little use to their owners. Many highly decorated flasks rank as works of art. During the 1500s, they were frequently decorated with images of famous historical figures. Here the figures of King David and Bathsheba derive from the Old Testament.

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