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Old 23rd June 2014, 02:53 PM   #1
Marcus den toom
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 461
Default An arquebusiers powder flask of about 1540's

This Calivermen staghorn powder flask of around 1540’s was sold at the last Czerny’s sale of 31st of May 2014. (Edited on 24-06-2014, title changed to An arquebusier's staghorn powder flask of around 1540's)

The natural staghorn body is as Michl says (quote from post 3, line10) “the plainer but much rarer samples are usually the earlier ones, of ca. 1540-50. Most of these earliest flasks were left unpolished retaining their original rough and natural staghorn surface”. The horizontal spring-loaded cut-off does look like the one from a flask dated 1532. The latter is one of a series which you can find reference to in the thread linked above (post 3). Images of this flask can be found in this thread in post 4.
The flask retains its original frog hook and also parts of its blued surface. The lateral push button is made out of two pieces which means it is not of the earliest make (1525’s) but more likely around 1540’s. Even after so many years the moving parts are still operational though!!!
The hook, as on most of these early flask, is mounted with a bolt trough the iron top mount and the staghorn body, fastened by a square nut at the opposite side. There is also a nail protruding from the hook trough the horn body.
The flask also yields another secret, there are some fine grains of black and brown that came out of the flask!!! I attached a picture of this as well, it looks like remnants of black powder but also of some sort of fabric (the brown pieces)?
The two rings which used to have a cord with the tassels at the end through them made me wonder, where these so called suspension ring actually used as such? I think not, seeing as the flask was hanging from either a belt or a leather frog (from the belt/frog hook). Also the weight of a large flask filled with black powder would most likely pull the rings out of the staghorn body over time. Drawings from the time such a flask was used tell us the same story, only the small flask for flashpan use was suspended by a cord. The term suspension rings is often used by auctions so it wouldn’t be a surprise if it were in fact the wrong name, but I am still learning

total lenght 22,4 cm
Staghorn body lenght 16 cm (including the parts covered by the top and base mount.
the base is 11 cm wide and 2,6 to 3,8 cm thick
The top is 6,5 cm wide and 3,6 cm thick (oval like).
the nuzzle is 5,5 cm long and has a outer diameter of 1,1 to 0,8 cm.
The frog hook is 12,1 cm long and 0,6 to 1,5 cm wide.

Special thanks to Michael Trömner, without him i would never have been able to present all this information. Michl, thank you

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