Apr 2, 2020

Powder Flask

Powder Flask

c. 1590

Gilt brass over fabric covered wood

Overall: 19.4 x 12.7 cm (7 5/8 x 5 in.)

Weight: 660 g (1.46 lbs.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.666


Did you know?

This powder flask depicts a mythological scene that precipitated the Trojan War. Here we see the Trojan prince Paris giving a golden apple to Aphrodite, the goddess who reciprocates by offering him the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta.


Luxury powder flasks served as highly visible badges of ranks. Many highly decorated flasks, like this example, embody all the allure and characteristics of a work of art. This flask depicts an ancient Greek story in which the youthful Paris must reward the most beautiful woman in the world with a golden apple.

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