The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Powder-flask
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • North Europe
  • c. 1530 - c. 1535
  • Antler, copper alloy, gold and bronze, carved and engraved
  • Height: 21.5 cm
    Weight: 0.355 kg
  • A1255
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Powder-flash, of antler, with two branches in base, elaborately carved. In the centre is a medallion carved with a relief, representing either the Conversion of the Emperor Constantine or The Conversion of St. Paul, around which are disposed four smaller oval panels of horsemen, with one of God the Father above; the ground is elaborately carved in low relief with nude figures, cupids, masks and foliage; the ends of the branches are capped with grotesque masks of horn carved in relief. The back is engraved with an equestrian figure. Turned funnel of brass with a spring cut-off, but no cap; collar of gilt bronze chased with cherubs and other ornament; four rings for suspension (restored), and a long belt hook of gilt bronze, pierced with a heart; the mounts appear to be of later date than the rest.

    Northern European, about 1530-35.

    A very similar powder-flask dated 1531 is in the Czartoriski Museum at Cracow. It came from an English source, one Rowley, in 1791. It is said to have belonged to King Henry VIII and was illustrated by J. Carter in his Specimens of ancient painting and sculpture in England, on plate XXXVIII which is dated 1 July 1787. It was then in the property of William Rawle, the gun-maker, accoutrement-maker, and antiquary. It was bought at his sale by the Princess Isabel Czartoyska during her visit to London in 1790 (Zygulski, Apollo, LXXXII, 1965, pp.395-7, figs. 10-11; Zygulski, 1892, pl. 204).