The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Powder-flask and primer
  • Powder-flask and primer
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1580
  • Bronze, gold, embossed, chiselled and gilded
  • Height: 20.9 cm
    Weight: 0.345 kg
  • A1293
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Powder-flask and primer, of gilt bronze shaped into the form of a stag's horn with two branches at the base, like A1292. The front decorated with numerous hunting scenes, hounds in pursuit of deer, bear, boar, etc., with a pond in the foreground, while a man is shooting at a swan and another is netting birds with a lantern; embossed, chiselled and gilt (the same subject is represented upon A1294, but with greater clearness): the back etched with arabesque ornament. Funnel with spring-cap; the cut-off is missing. Of the two branches at the base, one is capped with a sundial that contains the remains of the compass necessary for setting it (lid missing), the other with a short funnel with cut-off for priming: three rings for suspension (one broken).

    German (probably Augsburg), about 1580.

    Bronze flasks of this pattern are not uncommon (such as A1294). Others were in the collections of Basilewski, (Pillet & Delange, Paris, 26 April 1869, lot 96) sold for 215 fr. (marked catalogue in the Library of the Royal Armouries); the late Sir Archibald Lyle, Bt., and Mr. W. R. Hearst, and two were in the Leiden collection, sold Lempertz, Cologne, 1934 (lots 868, 888). Other examples were in the E. de Rozière sale (Pillet & Juste, Paris, 19-21 March 1860, lot 181, repr. in cat. in reverse), and in the Sammlung Lanna (sold Lepke, Berlin, 9-16 November 1909, lot 304, Pl. 22). Another is a similar flask is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (no. 2203-1855). Compare also Fischer sales: Zurich, 7-8 May 1935, lot 199, pl. 28 and Lucerne (v. Kaunitz), 1935, lot 154. Both of which bear the same hunting scene as A1293. C. Blair has suggested that the hunting scenes might derive from some printed source, such as the illustrations of one of the hunting books by Jost Amman of Nuremberg (Blair, 1974, p. 347). The whole group of similar flasks are discussed by C. Blair, 1974, under cat., no. 155, where he hesitates between Augsburg and Nuremberg as their source.