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Old 2nd February 2018, 08:48 PM   #1
Kmaddock
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Default Unusual gunpowder flask

Hi
I just picked up a job lot of items, interesting box of various shot and powder dispensers
All are standard enough mid to late 19 century
However this one has a mechanism I have never seen before
It is silver hallmarked on the neck of the flask but I think the main components are nickel
It looks as if you inverted the flask, opened the lever to dispense the powder, filled the cap and then the cap swivels through 90 degrees and you can then pour the powder into the gun.

Lots of mechanism and complicated to manafacture.
The retaining leaf spring to stop the cap from falling open is broken and the adjustment mechanism to allow various chardes to be dispensed is jamed

The flask itself is quiet rotten but the mechanism is overall not too bad.

The weight is in drams and it has the word patent on it so I assume English.

Can anyone shed some light on if this is a rarity, I def8nstely have never seen similar

If anyone can identify hallmarks I would be delighted to know any info in this regards as well

Regards

Ken

Size of flask is standard approx 150 mm rifle, shotgun flask
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Old 2nd February 2018, 11:58 PM   #2
thinreadline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmaddock
Hi
I just picked up a job lot of items, interesting box of various shot and powder dispensers
All are standard enough mid to late 19 century
However this one has a mechanism I have never seen before
It is silver hallmarked on the neck of the flask but I think the main components are nickel
It looks as if you inverted the flask, opened the lever to dispense the powder, filled the cap and then the cap swivels through 90 degrees and you can then pour the powder into the gun.

Lots of mechanism and complicated to manafacture.
The retaining leaf spring to stop the cap from falling open is broken and the adjustment mechanism to allow various chardes to be dispensed is jamed

The flask itself is quiet rotten but the mechanism is overall not too bad.

The weight is in drams and it has the word patent on it so I assume English.

Can anyone shed some light on if this is a rarity, I def8nstely have never seen similar

If anyone can identify hallmarks I would be delighted to know any info in this regards as well

Regards

Ken

Size of flask is standard approx 150 mm rifle, shotgun flask


Any chance of a close up of the hallmarks Ken ?
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Old 3rd February 2018, 06:47 AM   #3
Kmaddock
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Hi
Here you go
I think Sheffield Tudor rose is the first mark
But I would be making a stab in the dark really
Cheers
Ken
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Old 3rd February 2018, 08:11 AM   #4
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The "s" stands for the year 1854
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Old 3rd February 2018, 08:45 AM   #5
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Thanks Corrado
Am I correct in the Sheffield atributation?
Also have you ever seen a similar mechanism for powder dispensing.
I assume it was designed so that you did not have to put your thumb over the top of the spout, probably something a gentleman should not have to do to getting his thumb dirty.
But quiet a complex solution to a simple operation.
Regards
Ken
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Old 3rd February 2018, 09:07 AM   #6
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More of a safety measure I would think, in case of a lingering spark in the barrel.
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Old 3rd February 2018, 10:22 AM   #7
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The first mark on the left probably is not the Tudor Rose, but the crown-mark of Sheffield. The listings found in the net show the silver hallmarks and I don't know wether these have been in use for brass too. So it is very uncertain to interpret their meaning.
The second mark from the left is certainly a "D", this and the next mark are unknown and the last one should be - if it were silver - the date letter "s", what in Sheffield stands for silver made in 1910. This date I think is very late, probably too late for the flask.
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Old 3rd February 2018, 11:09 AM   #8
fernando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmaddock
Hi
... I think Sheffield Tudor rose is the first mark ...

Maybe not likely. Hasn't the Tudor rose only appeared as from 1975 to present ?. Also the crown would have a different shape; and would stand upright .
There would be a different path towards deciphering those marks ... assuming they are for silver, and not for silver plate or another composition .
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Old 3rd February 2018, 12:34 PM   #9
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If these are British silver hallmarks they dont really make much sense ... either that , of they are too worn for my eyes to make sense of them !
There has to be the following : a Standard mark ( to indicate it is Sterling Silver ) , a City mark , a Date Letter , and a Makers Mark. The makers mark , normally initials, always comes last & try as I may I cant discern anything from the last set of marks. Equally I am struggling to see a Standard Mark here , which would be a Lion Passant for this period ... w/o the standard mark , we are not dealing with silver and therefore cannot date it.
It may be silverplate ... which is well known for its 'lookalike' 'hallmarks' often enigmatically designed to mislead the buyer .
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Old 3rd February 2018, 01:53 PM   #10
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I think you all are correct that it is a dubious mark to simulate a hallmark.
As for the mechanism has anyone seen examples of a similar set up before
Thanks for the interest.
Ken
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Old 3rd February 2018, 03:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmaddock
...As for the mechanism has anyone seen examples of a similar set up before ...

Not me. A bizarre system; a unique one ? for a determined purpose ?
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Old 4th February 2018, 02:53 AM   #12
Pukka Bundook
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As stated above, this type of top was a safety device, as occasionally 'normal_flasks would blow up on charging a barrel containing a spark.
Some tops looked like the regular, but were warranted fireproof.
This type of top appears to have been used more in France than the UK,.
Anyone with the Powder Flask Book will see many variations.
Sorry though, I don't own the book!

It's a nice one to have, and much scarcer than the usual types.
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Old 4th February 2018, 12:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinreadline
If these are British silver hallmarks they dont really make much sense ... either that , of they are too worn for my eyes to make sense of them !
There has to be the following : a Standard mark ( to indicate it is Sterling Silver ) , a City mark , a Date Letter , and a Makers Mark. The makers mark , normally initials, always comes last & try as I may I cant discern anything from the last set of marks. Equally I am struggling to see a Standard Mark here , which would be a Lion Passant for this period ... w/o the standard mark , we are not dealing with silver and therefore cannot date it.
It may be silverplate ... which is well known for its 'lookalike' 'hallmarks' often enigmatically designed to mislead the buyer .


Yes, these are typical plate marks used on silver plated items produced in the 19th C. they don't generaly give much usefull information.
Quite often they have four letters which resemble 'hallmarks' which are E.P.N.S. meaning that the item is Electro Plated Nickel Silver. Another is E.P.B.M. a lesser quality product similar to pewter, Electro Plated Britania Metal.
I'm not sure that the manufacturers, many of whom were high class establishments, were deliberately trying to mislead the buyers or whether they were catering for a demand from buyers who preffered to own items that would appear to be more expensive than they were.

Check out my next post for an update on the makers marks

Last edited by Mel H : 4th February 2018 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 4th February 2018, 12:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
As stated above, this type of top was a safety device, as occasionally 'normal_flasks would blow up on charging a barrel containing a spark.
Some tops looked like the regular, but were warranted fireproof.
This type of top appears to have been used more in France than the UK,.
Anyone with the Powder Flask Book will see many variations.
Sorry though, I don't own the book!

It's a nice one to have, and much scarcer than the usual types.


I don't have the best known book by Riling but similar flasks appear the book by Martin Rywell but don't get much of a mention in the script, I've looked in a James Dixon of Sheffield catalogue from 1883 and it has clear drawing of this type of dispenser fitted to different styled bodies, one is listed as model No.5054, having a patent top.

Additionally with reference to the markings.
Quote From Martin Rywell.
Dixon & Sons. James Dixon was a firm founded in 1804, their mark was, Dixon, until 1806. From 1806 till 1830 their mark was a D and S separated by a rose.

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Old 4th February 2018, 02:43 PM   #15
Pukka Bundook
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IT looks like you may well have cracked it, Mel!

I did not know that Dixon marked flasks in this manner.

I'm from Ormesby area. I see you too are from the NE.
Can I ask Roughly where?
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Old 4th February 2018, 02:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
IT looks like you may well have cracked it, Mel!

I did not know that Dixon marked flasks in this manner.

I'm from Ormesby area. I see you too are from the NE.
Can I ask Roughly where?


Hi there, I'm not far away, in Bishop Auckland.
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Old 4th February 2018, 07:12 PM   #17
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Thanks all for the information
Looks like I have picked up a rare beast, came with 5 leather shot dispensers and 3 other powder dispensers
All came in an RIC Barack’s box with a mixture of other items, handcuffs baton
The barrels off A double barrel percussion gun etc
Looks like a lot of maybe siezed ordinance and related items, all I was after was the handcuffs baton and pouch so nice to get a bonus item. The metal on the bottom of the flask is rotten through unfortunately
Cheers
Ken
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