Pair of Powder Flasks for Arquebusier, Nurenberg, circa 1610

Pair of Powder Flasks for Arquebusier, Nurenberg, circa 1610

Pair of Powder Flasks or gunpowder flasks for a Musketeer - Arquebusier soldier, trapezoidal in shape, made of wood, iron and tarred canvas, Nuremberg (Germany) circa 1610.

The two powder flasks differ only in their dimensions which were dictated by the specific use for which they were made. In fact, the larger flask was used exclusively to insert the dose of powder directly into the barrel of the arquebus, while the smaller flask, called "priming flask", contained fine-grained powder which, when placed on the cup of the firearms in a minimal dose, primed the spark from the flint causing the shot.

These models of gunpowder flasks were already in use since the first quarter of the 16th century, in fact they are depicted in Ruprecht Heller's painting, "The Battle of Pavia", which took place in 1525 and were an integral part of the set of weapons used by musketeer/arquebusier soldiers in the service of the armies of the Holy Roman Empire of the West.

Flasks were attached to a bandolier, a type of belt worn over the shoulder or around the waist, from which hung the various accessories needed for a weapon including keys to the mechanism, measured charges, large powder flasks and smaller flasks for priming.

It is a rare fact to be able to find a pair of flasks of different sizes with the same distinctive signs.

Their measurements are: The tallest 25cm, and the smallest 17cm.

Their conditions are excellent.

Reference e Literatures:

  • Herbert J. Jackson with Charles E. Whitelaw, European Hand Firearms of the Sixteenth, Seventeenth & Eighteenth Centuries, 1923, p. 10, pl. XVI
  • Musée de l'Armée in Paris
  • Stadtmusem Munich
  • Castle Museum Schwerin, Germany
  • Wallace Collection, London
  • Munich Armory Stadtmuseum
  • Robert Marquisset/Jean-Pierre Yven, Poires à poudre, 1990, nos. 36 & 37
  • Kreuzenstein Castle, Vienna (near)
  • Sotheby's, from the Collections of the Royal House of Hanover, Oct. 5-15, 2005 (Esemplare Identico)
  • Collection of Schloß Baldern
  • Imperial Castle Nuremberg
  • National Museum Stockholm, inv. no. 272
  • Bonhams, London, April 23, 2008
  • Museo Hofburg, Vienna

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