The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Powder-flask, pouch and frog
  • Powder-flask, pouch and frog
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Saxony, Germany
  • c. 1610
  • Leather, steel and yellow silk, blued
  • Length: 20.6 cm, flask
    Weight: 0.36 kg
    Length: 34.6 cm, frog
  • A1284
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Powder-flask, pouch and port-flask, the flask of dark wood, probably box-wood, shaped as a flattened arc and oval in section. The front is carved in low relief with the figure of an inventory officer holding a partizan in 17th-century costume, within a frame of acanthus; the back is carved with a stylized leaf ornament within a similar border. Mounts of blued steel, funnel with spring-cap and cut-off at the base. At the back is a hook for the port-flask and on either edge are three rings for suspension. Attached to the two lower rings on either side, there remains a length of plaited leather thong.

    Pouch of leather, originally black, bordered and ornamented with yellow silk braid. The front of the pouch is gathered like a cockle-shell and stiffened by boning, the flap is fastened by a blued steel button. It contains compartments for three cartridges.

    At the top is a loop for suspension, which is prolonged in a leather frog or port-flask (A. Barret, The thorike and practike of moderne warres, London 1598, p.34), near the bottom of which is a blued steel loop to carry the hook of the flask.

    German (Saxon), about 1610.

    Similar flasks and pouches are in the Historisches Museum at Dresden, and date from the time of the Elector Christian II (1591-1611), or his successor, John George. Five of them were in the sales of armour from the Saxon Royal Armoury, Lepke, Berlin, 1919 (lots 734-6) and 1927 (lots 5 and 6); others were in the Ullmann sale (Cologne, 1891 (lot 459); Keasbey sale, American Art Assn., 1924 (lot 23); Prince Liechtenstein, etc., ibid., 1926, lot 284 (with mounts of engraved brass); Offerman sale, American Art Assn., 1937, lot 245. There is a similar flask with etched mounts, but without pouch, at Windsor Castle (Laking cat., no. 330); a flask and a port-flask are in the Royal Armouries (XII. 16; XIII. 90). One of these sets of flask, pouch and port-flask is also in the Royal Armouries (XIII.201), (formerly in the collection of Dr. R. Williams, F.S.A.); another was in the collection of R.T. Gwynn, and a good example was sold at Christie's, Folke-Elliot sale, 2 June, 1959, lot 95. There was a similar set in the Meyrick Collection (Skelton MS., vol. III), but with a horseman instead of an infantry officer.