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Old 24th February 2012, 02:10 PM   #1
joe123
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Default Wheellock Powderflask

Hello:

My first post here! I just recently picked this up, and was hoping to hear some thoughts and opinions on it from the more knowledgeable collectors:

Thank You,

Andre
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Last edited by Lee : 24th February 2012 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 24th February 2012, 04:13 PM   #2
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Hi Andre,


This is a German or Swiss powder flask for a caliverman (German Schütze), ca. 1590's to 1610. I wish to empasize that as the use of wheellocks for military purposes was very limited and rare, these flasks were usually carried together with matchlocks. The body of flattened cow horn is engraved, the ground of the engraving is blackened for contast. The iron top mount comprises nozzle, top lever and horizontal cut-off, the long bearing hook is retained while the iron base mount is missing.

The engraved obverse-side motif of these flasks usually varies according to a great number of artistic templates while the concentric circles on the reverse side seem to be common to almost all known samples.

In contrast to the better known musketeer, the caliverman's matchlock gun (caliver, Schützenrohr) was shorter, lighter and of smaller caiber than the long and heavy actual musket. Thus he had no need of a fork (musket rest), and instead of the musketeer's bandoleer with pre-charged powder containers for each single shot, he carried both the curved, flattened powder flask and a small trapezoid priming flask to load his gun. A number of lead balls was carried in a pouch that was part of the leather frog to which the powder flask was attached by its rear iron hook. While the musketeer usually wore a felt hat the caliverman is always shown wearing a cabasset (Schützenhäubl).


Attached please find some period artwork from Jacob de Gheyn's famous exercise manual Wapenhandelinghe, printed in 1608, illustrating a caliverman with his characteristic curved and flattened flask attached to the leather frog. The ball pouch is clearly visible above to nozzle of the flask in the last illustration.


For more information and a lot of similar items, please see

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ht=powder+flask


Best,
Michael
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Last edited by Matchlock : 25th February 2012 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 24th February 2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, Andre .
You may be pleased for how fast you got a expert comprehensive description on your powder flask
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Old 24th February 2012, 08:45 PM   #4
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Hi Michael:

Thank you so much for all the information! I never would have guessed these were for military use. From all the pictures I found on the net, I did notice that same concentric circle motif on the reverse of them.

@Fernando:

Thanks for the welcome, and I'm already impressed by the depth and breadth of knowledge on the site!

Best Regards,

A.
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Old 25th February 2012, 09:40 AM   #5
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Hi Andre,

On second sight, and after some photoshopping, I am afraid that the spring-loaded vertical cut-off lever to control the powder flow is missing from the top mount on your flask. I attach a detail from a similar flask showing the scroll finial of the original cut-off. The spring is still present.

Best,
Michael
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Old 25th February 2012, 03:21 PM   #6
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I also wish to add that the floral decoration on your flask forming a foliage with an animal inmidst seems to be at least influenced by the Nuremberg workshop style.

Best,
Michael
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Old 10th March 2012, 10:20 AM   #7
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Default A Fine Saxon Carved Wooden Caliverman's Flask, ca. 1590

- for a guardsman of the Electoral Guard (Trabanten-Leibgarde) of Christian I. of Saxony.
Please note the representation of the pikeman and the bluing of the iron mounts on the better preserved items! In one ensemble, even the wheel spanner is retained denoting that this was actually a wheellock accouterment.

Flasks of both this quality and provenance usually appear on the market every five to ten years and realize an average of ca. 5,000-8,000 USD each, the leather frog not included! When the latter is still there they almost double the sum.

Best,
Michael
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Last edited by Matchlock : 10th March 2012 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 15th March 2012, 05:04 PM   #8
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More close-ups of a Saxon caliverman's flask, ca. 1590; Bonhams, 20 April 2011.

m
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Old 9th June 2012, 05:46 PM   #9
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Default A Good Nuremberg Caliverman's Flask, ca. 1600

This is a flask of the type Joe 123 posted (post #1).

The auction house stated that the flask was originally part of a soldier carrying a wheellock; however, as wheellocks were extremely rare in military use it was most probably an accouterment accompanying a matchlock caliver, as depicted by de Gheyn in 1607-8 (see post #2).


The flattened, curved body of cowhorn, characteristically engraved with two warriors all'antica on the obverse, and concentric circles on the reverse, the narrow sides also showing their typical pattern, and the ground of the engravings retaining its original deep blackening; the iron top und lower mounts retaining their original blued surface (now heavily patinated overall), and complete with its reverse hook.
The hook on all calivermen's flasks was actually not a 'belt hook' but was for attaching the flask to the leather frog.
The spring of the manually operated nozzle lid is missing from the top mount.

These flasks were made in large numbers in various Nuremberg workshops, with dated samples recorded from the 1590's to 1619 (the latest recorded date, as far as I remember).

As many of these are still around, perfect overall condition is the most important criterion when selecting a piece for your collection.

Best,
m
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Last edited by Matchlock : 9th June 2012 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 9th June 2012, 05:51 PM   #10
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For more calivermen's flasks and their leather frogs, please see

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...t=leather+frogs

m

Last edited by Matchlock : 9th June 2012 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 18th June 2012, 09:19 PM   #11
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For another specimen dated 1606, see

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...7s+powder+flask,

post # 3.
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