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Old 13th February 2009, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default CALIVERMAN's Powder Flasks and Their Leather Frogs, Nuremberg, ca. 1580-1620

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Old 15th February 2009, 05:46 PM   #2
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Two fine Saxon samples for guardsmen of the Trabanten-Leibgarde of the Saxon Elector Christian I, 1580's.

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Old 15th February 2009, 06:10 PM   #3
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Default An unusually fine Nuremberg Caliver Man's (Schützen-) Flask, ca. 1580-1600

This one is unusual for having a velvet covered wooden body and retaining its original tinning on the iron mounts. Most Nuremberg flasks were quite plain.

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Old 15th February 2009, 06:27 PM   #4
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Default The finest Schützenflasche (Caliver Man's Flask) That I Have Ever Seen

Of Nuremberg make, ca. 1600, the body carved, the fire gilt cast bronze mounts highly figured and engraved with the characteristic Nuremberg style of foliage.

This is also unusual for having a ball reservoir on the underside which was released by turning the cross cut screw. The frog hook is missing from the obverse.

Height 20.5 cm.

It fetched 6,000 euro at a German auction last year, its estimate was a humble 100 euro - imagine! Of course it is worth double the sum it went for ...


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Old 24th February 2009, 07:01 PM   #5
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Another fine Saxon leather frog with a wooden compartment drilled for four paper cartridges, together with a finely carved Suhl Schützenflasche (caliverman's flask), the frog hook missing from the reverse, and a wheel-lock spanner, all ca. 1580.

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Old 24th February 2009, 07:05 PM   #6
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An unusual leather frog for a caliverman's flask, ca. 1580, in the Princes Odescalchi Colln., near Rome.
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Old 25th February 2009, 12:50 PM   #7
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Hi Michael,
As always, magnificent items, and it is incredible to see all the work and creativity that went into things that would otherwise been considered simple utilitarian implements to accompany the firearms of the times.

I always think it is interesting to see the artwork applied to material culture and how it compares to the actual art of the periods associated. While the markings and inscriptions on the weapons themselves often carry varying degrees of symbolism beyond the commercial and perhaps even mundane bureaucratic purposes of the time, it is interesting to consider what type of symbolism might have been imbued in the applied art on these items, or if any other than simple aesthetics.

I suppose one example of such applied art used on weapons of these times
would be the 'Holstein' daggers and use of his "Dance of Death" artwork.

In looking at these powder flasks, I was somehow drawn to the screws and began to think about how amazing it was that these simple pieces of hardware have remained virtually unchanged through so many centuries of advances in technology. I cant help but wonder more on how long this simple element has existed as used on weaponry. Simplistic I know, but always just curious.

Thank you for these great photos!!!

All the best,
Jim

All the
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Old 25th February 2009, 04:24 PM   #8
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Default Caliverman's Flasks and Their Leather Frogs in my Collection

The larger frog of yellowish color, Nuremberg, ca. 1580, the plicated pouch retaining a beech wood compartment drilled for four paper cartridges two of which are still present, the lead balls now oxidized to a greyish white, as well as some tow and a portion of matchcord, each preserved in its separate leather compartment; together with a caliverman's flask, Nuremberg, ca. 1580, and of unusually good quality, the wooden body retaining much of its original red paint and fitted with well wrought iron mounts, the bottom mount containing a very rare additional ball reservoir with a spring loaded lid and one ball still present, now oxidized to a greyish white.

The smaller frog of grey suede, Nuremberg, ca. 1600, the pouch probably meant for reserve balls, the reverse with an old inventory number in red ink; together with a plain caliverman's flask, Nuremberg, early 17th century, the blackened body of fir wood with plain and thin iron mounts.

Displayed together with two musketeers' bandoliers, ca. 1600, and a bundle of original matchcord, all from my collection; more on these rare accouterments to follow soon.

400 year old fragile leather and textile items range among the greatest rarissimae.

Michael
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Old 25th February 2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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More details of the better quality frog, plus two good Nuremberg caliverman's flasks, ca. 1580's to 1600, the wooden bodies covered with tooled blackened leather, retaining their reverse frog hooks; from my collection.

Michael
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Old 14th March 2009, 06:57 PM   #10
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Another Nuremberg Schützenflasche, late 16th century, the frog hook damaged at the tip.

Michael
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Old 15th March 2009, 04:09 PM   #11
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Default A caliverman's frog and flask, ca. 1625-30

Details from two paintings by Sebastiaen Vrancx, ca. 1625-30, preserved at the Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium.

From roelipilami's excellent photostream on www.flickr.com - thank you so much, roelipilami!

Michael
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Old 15th March 2009, 04:13 PM   #12
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Default Two More Thirty Years War Battle Scenes by Sebastiaen Vrancx

Note the unvarnished stocks and blued iron parts of both the wheel-lock and matchlock muskets.

Michael
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Old 27th March 2012, 03:21 PM   #13
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Default One of the Finest Calivermen's Flask in Existence

With gilt-copper mounts, and retaining its original leather frog covered with gold-embroidered textiles, ca, 1590, made for a high-ranking officer of the Trabanten-Leibgarde (body guard) of Christian I or II, Elector of Saxony; provenance: the Royal Saxon Collections, Dresden.

The carved representation is the standard motif found on all Saxon calivermen's flasks, the pikeman.

Preserved in the Met, NY.

Best,
Michael
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Last edited by Matchlock : 27th March 2012 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 02:20 PM   #14
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A very fine and large example of a caliverman's cowhorn flask, Nuremberg, ca. 1595-1618, overall length 37 cm.

The biblical scene of Judith with the head of Holofernes is often found on the flattened cowhorn bodies of Nuremberg flasks. The engraving is of good quality and its blackening as well as the patina of the iron parts are perfectly preserved. This dark patina comes quite close in impact to the originally blued surfaces.
The reverse of the flask shows a 17th c. arsenal mark, A 1, and what most probably was the owner's initials, LZ in somewhat clumsy script.

Although it retains its long hook (actually not a 'belt' hook but for attaching the flask to the leather frog) this flask is not perfect: the horizontal cut-off is missing from the top mount base plate, its spring is still present.
The bottom close-up of another flask of this type shows what the srcrolled cut-off lever looked like.

Best,
Michael
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Old 9th June 2012, 05:59 PM   #15
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Calivermen with their light matchlock gun (the caliver), the characteristic flat and curved powder flask carried attached to the leather frog by means of the reverse-side hook, and a man's portion of matchcord.

From Jacob de Gehyn's famous exercise manual Wapenhandelinghe, 1607-08.

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Last edited by Matchlock : 9th June 2012 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 9th June 2012, 06:28 PM   #16
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Two more more close-ups, the first depicting a white cowhorn flask.

Please note the cord and tassels consisting of silk and wool!

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Last edited by Matchlock : 9th June 2012 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 9th June 2012, 06:45 PM   #17
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For a comprehensive thread on matchcord, please see

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15668



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Old 9th June 2012, 06:56 PM   #18
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Nuremberg calivermen's flaks, late 16th to early 17th c., author's collection.

Most of them retaining their original cord, and two of them are even complete together with their extremely rare original leather frogs (for close ups, see posts #8 and #9 above).

The flask at the bottom, with the wooden body painted red, is of unusually fine Nuremberg make and, as a very rare extra, combines a ball rerservoir in the bottom mount. It is also preserved complete with its original leather frog, fitted with a pouch containing a compartment for four paper cartridges (three of which are still there, one displayed separately in another of my glass cases!) and a portion of matchcord! The original leather straps (damaged) can be seen next to it.

Again, see more in posts #8 and 9.


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Last edited by Matchlock : 9th June 2012 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 9th June 2012, 07:56 PM   #19
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Old 22nd June 2012, 12:41 PM   #20
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A caliverman's flask, German or Swiss, ca. 1600; the body of flattened, bleached and engraved cowhorn, the mounts of blackened iron, the opening ring of the top mount with an additional small iron device of unknown purpose attached by a chain;
the obverse engraved with a mythological hunting scene, the reverse engraved with characteristic concentric circles, the frog hook missing from the reverse (the small hole filled where it was attached by a threaded pin).

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Last edited by Matchlock : 22nd June 2012 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 12:52 PM   #21
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A similar caliverman's flask as before, the style of the engraving Nuremberg, ca. 1600, the obverse depicting two warriors all'antica, the reverse engraved with typical concentric circles, the mounts of blued iron (heavily patinated and discolored), and retaining its original reverse-mounted long frog hook (often incorrectly callred 'belt hook)';
spring-loaded manually operated nozzle cover, the spring missing;
preserved in oustanding original condition overall, with all engravings crisp and retaining their deeply blackened ground;
the original spring missing from the

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Old 24th June 2012, 01:16 PM   #22
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Saxon caliverman's flask retaining its leather frog, ca. 1590-1600:

Wallce Colln., London

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Old 24th June 2012, 01:19 PM   #23
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A Flemish or Swiss caliverman's engraved cowhorn flask, dated 1594;
Wallace Colln., London.

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Old 24th June 2012, 01:29 PM   #24
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Two unusually fine South German caliverman's flasks, for guardsmen, ca. 1600, the blackened cowhorn bodies engraved with foliage, the mounts incised and gilt;

- the first probably Augsburg, the top mount featuring a lid for an additional compartment of unknown purpose, and complete with reverse belt hook;

- the second engraved with characteristic Nuremberg foliage, the bottom comprising a compartment for spare balls, and complete with reverse belt hook;

both Wallace Colln, London.


For similar flasks combined with ball compartments see posts #4, 8 and 18.



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Old 24th June 2012, 02:03 PM   #25
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Two further caliverman's flasks, ca. 1590-1600, the bottom mount comprising a reservoir for spare balls;
the lower one, with etched and gilt mounts, dated 1594, preserved in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nuremberg.

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Last edited by Matchlock : 24th June 2012 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 24th June 2012, 02:09 PM   #26
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A caliverman's flask with plain wooden body, ca. 1590-1600.

And a contemporary cowhorn flask retaining its original raw silk and wool tassels, in the Legermuseum Delft.

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Old 30th June 2012, 04:25 PM   #27
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An unusually fine South German (Augsburg or Nuremberg) caliverman's flask, ca. 1590-1600;
the body of bleached, flattened, engraved and blackened cowhorn; a very rare feature is the fact that the mounts are made of brass, embossed, pierced, engraved punched with decorative quatrefoils; the reverse-mounted belt hook of iron.
The obverse engraved with a sunburst and typical Nuremberg style foliage, the reverse with the usual concentric circles.
The whole preserved in optimum condition.

This finely wrought flask was most probably designed for a guardsman of a small unit.

Sold Hermann Historica, April 23, 2012, after failing to sell at least in two previous auctions!


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Last edited by fernando : 30th June 2012 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 12th July 2012, 02:16 AM   #28
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Another very rare instance of a good-quality caliverman's leather frog, ca. 1600, very similar in make to a sample in the author's collection, see post # 8.

Displayed inaptly together with a triangular musketeer's flask, in the museum of Weissenburg/Bavaria, not far from the author's home.
Author's photos.

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Old 23rd July 2012, 12:25 AM   #29
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A fine sample of a caliverman's frog, Nuremberg, ca. 1600, the obverse covered with a grayish velvet (obviously made for a guardsman; only the primary layer preserved, with the surface rubbed).
Please note the characteristic Nuremberg heart-shaped ornamental piercings.

The Royal Armouries Leeds; author's photos, 1997.

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Last edited by Matchlock : 23rd July 2012 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 7th December 2013, 10:05 AM   #30
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Two more fine German Schützenflaschen (caliverman's flasks), the first most probably Saxony, with natural cowhorn body, ca. 1600, the other Augsburg or Nuremberg, same period of time, the edged brass body completely copper-gilt (fire gilding), the frog hook broken off and missing.

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Last edited by Matchlock : 7th December 2013 at 10:15 AM.
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