Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bay Area
That is a very impressive collection of Maghrebi powder flasks you have amassed, showcasing the extreme variety of shapes. My guess on why there are so many diverse forms in that area and Morocco in particular is that it is a result of the history of the region and the various outside influences in the design of firearms and accessories. Proximity to the Ottoman Empire introduced Middle Eastern forms, while the conflicts with Spain and Portugal, along with the Spanish mercenaries who defeated the Songhai Empire must have certainly introduced some Southern European forms. Then there are of course unique local berber designs, and there is clear adoption of Northern European powder flasks which probably came with the arms supplied by English and Dutch merchants in an effort to help an anti-Habsburg ally. Finally, when the French took over the Maghreb in the 19th century, it appears French forms were added to the variety, like a pear shaped brass flask I have - there is a similar one in Buttin for reference. I also suspect that in the second half of the 20th century there was some creativity in coming up with forms which may not be necessarily traditional, but which look interesting and were intended entirely for the souvenir trade.