Powder Flask thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Powder Flask

ca. 1660 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Powder flasks were either made of hollowed-out cattle horns or wood such burr maple or boxwood, as in this case, and their purpose was to protect gun powder from water or fire. It formerly belonged to Ralph Bernal (1784 - 1854), a barrister who became an M.P. on inheriting a large property in the West Indies and took an active interest in the arts and newly formed museums. A large number of items from his collections were acquired by this museum a year after his death.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Moulded metal work, carved boxwood
Brief description
Boxwood cylindrical powder flask, one side carved with a lion hunt, the other with a large rosette. English, ca. 1660.
Physical description
Carved circular boxwood powder flask with moulded metal spout and spring catch
Dimensions
  • Height: 7in
  • Width: 5in
Production typeUnique
Object history
This object formed part of the collections of Ralph Bernal M.P. (1784 - 1854), which were sold by Christie, Mason and Woods in 1855 and bought by the South Kensington Musem for £12 - 10 s.
Production
This object was described as "17th century" when acquired, and the tudor rose indicates English workmanship.
Subject depicted
Association
Summary
Powder flasks were either made of hollowed-out cattle horns or wood such burr maple or boxwood, as in this case, and their purpose was to protect gun powder from water or fire. It formerly belonged to Ralph Bernal (1784 - 1854), a barrister who became an M.P. on inheriting a large property in the West Indies and took an active interest in the arts and newly formed museums. A large number of items from his collections were acquired by this museum a year after his death.
Collection
Accession number
2219-1855

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Record createdNovember 8, 2005
Record URL
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