Powder Flask or Pulverflasche belonged to Johan Jacob Barbiano, Hungary, circa 1610

Powder Flask or Pulverflasche belonged to Johan Jacob Barbiano, Hungary, circa 1610

Important and extraordinary powder flask that belonged to Giovan Giacomo Barbiano (1565 – Liège, 18 October 1626), as indicated by a carving on the back, bearing the name "Johan Jacob Barbiano" in Latin, made of deer horn carved with shape and designs typical of Hungarian and Transylvanian production, but equipped with unusual and exceptional forged iron fittings, attributable to traditional Habsburg production, thus forming an extraordinary fusion of styles currently found only on this flask.

The reasons for this exceptional fusion of styles found on this flask can be traced back to the long period in which Giovan Giacomo Barbiano lived and exercised his military functions in Hungary and Transylvania.

In fact, in 1603, he was sent by Emperor Rudolph II of Habsburg to Hungary as Governor and Captain General of the imperial troops.

Following the death of Rudolph II, his successor, Emperor Matthias II of Habsburg, also confirmed him as his military advisor and sent him to Transylvania to face István Bocskai's Protestant insurrection against the Habsburg Empire. It is very likely that the armourers accompanying and serving the troops of the governor and general Giovan Giacomo Barbiano were influenced by the typical workmanship carried out on the flasks of those territories, thus expressing, in this unique creation, the fusion of the two styles.

Given this, it is possible to date the creation of this flask between approximately 1603 and 1620, the year in which he returned to Flanders to his castle of Chokier, near Liège, where he died in 1626.

Dorothei Forstner OSB, Świat symboliki chrześcijańskiej, tłum. zbior., Warszawa 2001, s. 33-39.
The Museum of Ukrainian Folk Art, Kiev
Ukrainian Cossack State by Volodymyr Nedyak: Pages: 241, 242, and 243.
Szeged, Móra Ferenc Museum
Muzeul Etnografic al Transilvaniei
Louvre Museum (Paris): Numéro Principal: OA 12295 - Autre Numéro Inventaire: P 493 516

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