Jun 1, 2007
Jun 1, 2007

Powder Flask

Powder Flask

c. 1550–1580

Staghorn (two branches) with carved relief scene of the Judgement of Paris, mounts missing

Overall: 17.8 x 13.4 cm (7 x 5 1/4 in.)

Weight: 200 g (7.05 oz.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.676



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 the Judgment of Paris come from Greek antiquity.

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