Apr 27, 2020
Oct 22, 2010

Powder Flask

Powder Flask

c. 1580

Staghorn (two branches) carved with relief, scene of David and Bathsheba; iron suspension loop; mounts missing

Overall: 16.9 x 11.1 cm (6 5/8 x 4 3/8 in.)

Weight: 240 g (8.47 oz.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1906



Powder flasks are small, portable containers designed to hold gunpowder. From the 1400s to the 1800s, powder flasks were indispensable for charging and priming firearms of all types. Without powder flasks firearms were of little use to their owners. Many highly decorated flasks rank as works of art. During the 1500s, they were frequently decorated with images of famous historical figures. Here the figures of King David and Bathsheba derive from the Old Testament.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email [email protected].

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.