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Powder flask: HEN.M.453-1933

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)






Musketeer's powder flask, decorated with pierced gilt brass with enamel inlay


History note: Brett Collection: pl. CVII, 3

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1933-03-16) by Henderson, James Stewart


17th Century, Early#
Production date: circa AD 1600


This flask consists of a wooden box in which gunpowder was kept. The nozzle at the top acted as a measure. The musketeer would put his thumb over the end, push the lever aside which opened the flask and upended it so that the nozzle filled with powder. He then released the lever and poured the measured amount of powder down the muzzle of his musket. This type of powder flask was widely used by musketeers in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. They are often highly decorated - the copper alloy plaques are decorated with putti, birds, masks and strapwork and was originally colourfully enamelled – traces of which can still be seen.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of gilt brass
Inlay composed of enamel

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.453-1933
Primary reference Number: 19656
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 4 May 2021 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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