The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Powder-flask
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1590
  • Wood, velvet, bronze and gold, embossed, chased, chiselled and gilded
  • Height: 26.6 cm
    Weight: 0.807 kg
  • A1279
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Powder-flask, large, made of wood, triangular in form with concave sides, covered with dark green velvet and overlaid with ornament of gilt bronze representing the Judgment of Paris, cast in relief, pierced and chased; the back is bordered with bands of gilt bronze chiselled with a guilloche pattern. Large, tapering funnel decorated with Renaissance ornament in relief, without a spring-cap or stopper; four rings for suspension. At the top of the funnel are the remains of an anchor for the stopper or cord. At the back are the remains of a belt hook that was probably intended to fit into a port flask (see A1284).

    German, about 1590 (?)

    De Beaumont Catalogue, pl. 4 (represented with a cord and tassels attached);
    L' Art Ancien I, 26; Musée Rétrospectif, 1865, no. 2013.

    Provenance: Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    A similar flask ornamented with the same subject is in the German Historical Museum, Berlin (formerly in the Museum für Deutsche Geschichte, Berlin, Müller, Guns, pistols and revolvers, 1981, pl. 73 and before that was in the collection of Prince Charles of Prussia, Hiltl, pl. LXXV), and a similar bronze overlay, detached from its flask, was in the possession of M. Muller of Frankfurt-am-Main in 1956. A comparable flask is in the Odescalchi collection, Rome (inv. no. 78; Carpegna, Firearms, 1975, no. 137, with a list of comparable pieces). Another is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, no. 2245 -1855. A similar flask was until recently in an English private collection (exhibited Arms and Armour at the Dorchester, 1983, p. 48).