Thread: Powder Flask
View Single Post
Old 15th May 2014, 11:30 AM   #13
Matchlock's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310

Hi there,

Of course, I can answer these questions regarding hooks on powder flasks.

1. Flasks for infantry soldiers, like arquebusiers, musketeers and calivermen, and from ca. 1520/30-1700, were usually equipped with such hooks mounted on the reverse side.

2. Generally, the correct term for hooks of flasks for arquebusiers and musketiers is belt hooks; illustrated contemporary sources, from 1529, 1533, 1564 and 1587, depict such soldiers, with flasks attached either to the belt at their side, or at the their back.

3. Flasks for calivermen were attached to leather frogs; so the correct term for hooks on those flasks is frog hooks.

4. Usually, these hooks were pierced with two holes at the reinforced upper end, with at least of these holes threaded to receive a transverse screw.

5. Hooks on the earliest types of flasks of ca. 1530-40, and on flasks made of stag's antlers, which are mostly forked and were made from ca. 1540/50 to about 1580, usually were attached by a wood screw, entering through a hole in the iron base plate of the top mount (nozzle), and in the staghorn body underneath the iron.
Generally, a few centimeters below that eye pierced through the reinforced upper end of the belt hook - made for that wood screw, or alternatively a nail, to enter - , a pointed iron nail was copper welded to the underside of the hook, to be nailed in the staghorn body and prevent the hook from swiveling or pivoting. Alternatively to that nail, sometimes there was a short, threaded thorn by which the belt hook had to be pivoted around its axis until that threaded thorn had completely entered the staghorn, and the hook was fixed parallel to the staghorn body by both the upper screw and the lower nail or threaded thorn.

6. As I said in my reply to Tony's flask, all hooks usually were attached by a transverse screw, either going right through the body of the flask from the obverse side, and screwed to a threaded hole in the hook, or equipped with an additional iron thorn, to hold the hook in place.

In the case of Tony's flask, which may not have been made in Germany or Northern Europe, there are two transversal screws piercing the flattened cowhorn body, their big rounded heads clearly visible one below the other. The upper screw enters the obverse of the iron base plate of the top mount, goes right through the cowhorn, on through a hole on the reverse of the base plate, and entering a threaded hole in the broadened upper end of the belt hook - thus fixing the top mount to both the cowhorn body and the belt hook. The second, lower screw does likewise, but just goes right through the horn and into another threaded hole in the belt hook, thus keeping the belt hook from pivoting.

I reattached five photoshopped pictures of Tony's flask, showing the two screws entering the threaded hole of the upper and reinforced section of the frog hook.

Attached below find photos of two detached mid- to late 16th century hooks, from my reserve collection: the shorter one from a staghorn flask, with its small upper nail and lower long nail still in place; the upper a frog hook from a caliverman's flask.
As I live in Bavaria, Germany, Europe, please note that the scale is in centimeters.

Last attachment: detail from a painting of the Battle of Pavia, 1525; the painting by Ruprecht Heller, and dated 1529; National Museum Stockholm, 272.

Attached Images
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote