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Powder flask

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraved, inked and turned ivory with the silver mounts

  • Museum number:

    631-1872

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is a turned and cylindrical ivory powder flask made in Germany (Nuremberg), dated 1543. It is engraved with hunting scenes, a boar and a bear hunt respectively.
The flask is prominently dated '1543' in a scrolled cartouche above the landscape scenes. The silver mounts are engraved with the arms of the Holzschuher family, as augmented by King Emmanuel of Portugal in 1503, in favour of Wolfgang Holzschuher of Nuremberg (d. 1547), after the King had conferred on him the knighthood of the Order of Christ in recognition of his services against the Muslims. The flask is however almost certainly a nineteenth-century confection, made to deceive. the form is odd and the fact that the date is displayed so prominently is itself suspicious. The hunting scenes are probably based on engraved sources.
The production of ivories in historicizing styles in the 19th century flourished in a number of centres, including Cologne, Milan, Toulouse and Cordoba. Although not always made to deceive, unscrupulous dealers often sold them as genuine objects to their clients.

Physical description

Turned cylindrical powder flask in ivory, engraved and inked in with hunting scenes - a scene of a boar hunt and a bear hunt - in a landscape, with a church in the distance. A frieze of running hares, dogs, a goose and a seated stag runs round the upper rim. The flask is prominently dated '1543' in a scrolled cartouche above the landscape scenes.
The silver mounts are engraved with the arms of the Holzschuher family.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)

Date

ca. 1850 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Engraved, inked and turned ivory with the silver mounts

Marks and inscriptions

'1543'
in a scrolled cartouche above the landscape

arms of the Holzschuber family
on the silver mounts

Dimensions

Height: 11.5 in whole, Diameter: 5.23 cm diameter at bottom, Height: 7.3 cm ivory alone

Object history note

Bought from Messrs Goldschmidt, Frankfurt in 1872.

Descriptive line

Powder flask, ivory with silver mounts, engraved with hunting scenes, Germany (Nuremberg), ca. 1830 (spuriously dated) 1543

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory. London: Published under the Authority of the Board of Education, 1927-1929, Part II, p. 99
List of Objects in the Art Division, South Kensington, Acquired During the Year 1872, Arranged According to the Dates of Acquisition. London : Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., p. 52
pp. 438, 439
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, pp. 438, 439, cat. no. 474

Materials

Ivory; Silver

Techniques

Engraving (incising)

Subjects depicted

Hunting scene; Landscape; Goose; Hunting; Dogs; Stag; Boar; Hares; Bear

Categories

Containers; Sculpture; Tools & Equipment; Sport; Fakes & forgeries

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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