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Priming flask: M.68 & A-1930

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unknown




Steel flask inlaid with silver decoration and two vignettes of a lady and gentleman

Steel inlaid with silver decoration in relief. Of flattened pear-shape with cylindrical screw-on stopper (A). Attached to the base of the stopper is a rod within a hollow tube, the top of which is pierced with two D-shaped holes. The sides are decorated with two circular vignettes of a lady and gentleman in early 18th century dress; on one side they stand; on the other she sits on the ground and he stands behind her. The background and stopper are decorated with scrolling foliage.


History note: Frank Smart Collection

Legal notes

From the Frank Smart Collection, given by T.J.G. Duncanson

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1930-02-14) by Duncanson, T. J. G.


18th Century
1700 CE - 1760 CE


The style of costume and tall headdress worn by the woman on the flask was fashionable during the reign of Queen Anne

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of silver
Flask & Stopper Height 2.6 cm Length 9.8 cm Width 4.9 cm

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 39 / Pear shaped russet / steel powder primer / inlaid silver, circa 1700 / Scandinavian or Italian
  • Location: Tied round the neck
  • Method of creation: Rectangular tag, written in black ink
  • Type: Paper label
  • Text: 91/30
  • Location: Tied round the neck
  • Method of creation: Oval tag, written in black ink
  • Type: Paper label

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.68 & A-1930
Primary reference Number: 19682
Old object number: M.2-1930
Temporary object number: PB 28
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 10 February 2021 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Priming flask" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-29 09:55:29

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{{cite web|url= |title=Priming flask |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-02-29 09:55:29|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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