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Old 23rd June 2014, 04:44 PM   #7
Matchlock's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310

Hi Marcus,

Congratulations for acquiring that fine and early piece, which can be assigned to ca. 1540-50.

I am not quite sure though what actually makes you think it might have been part of a caliverman's equipment.
At the mid-16th century, all infantry men employing firearms were called arquebusiers.
The lightweight and shorter 'long' guns were called (h)arquebuses or Viertelhaken, whereas the long and heavier infantry firearms were termed Halbhaken or Ganze Haken.

It was only during the 2nd half of the 16th century that the terms caliver and caliverman, and musket and musketeer respectively, were established. The latter seems to have originated in Spain, and derived from the Spanish mosca (fly), and the French mousquetaire.

For closest possible comparison, I attached an image of a bifurcated natural staghorn flask, Nuremberg, ca. 1550, in The Michael Trömner Collection. Its iron mounts retain traces of their original minium (red lead) paint.

Attached next please find the polished and finely engraved body of a staghorn flask, initialled OTH for Pfalzgraf (Count Palatine) Ottheinrich, 1502-1559, who resided on Schloss Neuburg, some 50 km from where I live, and was a personal friend of Henry VIII.
The bifurcated body is dated 1552; the top mount and the left basal mount are both missing. Telling by its very special type, it may originally have been a combined powder flask and holder for paper cartridges!

The view from the top into the body of the flask also proves that the rings actually were rings for suspension, and on a cord and tassels (German: Aufputz), which was common to all powder flasks. The tassels were also used to wipe the iron surfaces and igniting pan of a firearm.
Moreover, the fact that these rings were, of course, screwed to the staghorn body and could not be extracted by the flask's weight
is clearly visible on that image.

The hook mounted on the flask's reverse actually was a belt hook, and not a frog hook as on caliverman's flasks; it is pierced with a trefoil ornament (German: Trifoliendekor, Dreipass), actually representing a bunch of grapes, and stylized to the absolute minimum of three dots in both
Late Gothic and Renaissance art.

For early staghorn flasks, please cf. my thread

For Ottheinrich's personal wheellock arquebus dated 1533, please cf. my thread


- Pfalzgraf Ottheinrich

the trefoil ornament in Gothic architecture

etching with bunches of grapes and running animals set within grapevine scrolls
: on the blade of a fine hunting sword of ca. 1525-30, preserved in the Bargello, Florence

bunches of grapes;
blind embossing on a book binding dated 1545

Michl/Michael Trömner

Attached Images
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