The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Powder-flask
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Spain
  • c. 1620
  • Cow's horn, mother-of-pearl, silver, gold, copper alloy and steel, blued, engraved and gilded
  • Length: 24 cm
    Weight: 0.23 kg
  • A1264
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Powder-flask, of dark, polished cow horn, flat and slightly curved, with the narrower end at the base, the surface inlaid with decoration in mother-of-pearl, silver wire and engraved brass. In the centre is a blank shield surmounted by a helmet of mother-of-pearl, surrounded by a design of intertwined foliage and flowers, the tendrils being of silver wire, the leaves of brass, engraved and formerly gilt, while the flowers are of mother-of-pearl. Scattered throughout the design are small circular inlays of pewter piqué ornament. Funnel, cut-off lever and a spiral spring of blued steel mounted on a horn plate. This is hinged at one end and opens for filling. It is secured by a spring-catch with press-in release. At the back transverse belt hook of blued steel.

    Possibly Spanish, about 1620.

    What appears to be a very similar flask is illustrated in 'Weapons on a board' by an unknown Spanish painter (Prado, Madrid, un-numbered; exhibited in 1960 without attribution; J. Lopez-Rey, Velasquez, London, 1963, no. 173, pl. 202).