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Powder Flask; Italian. Circa: early to mid-1800s

SKU: Powder Flask; Italian $194.95
Front designed with crossed rifles and pistols, a panoply of flags plus anchors, knife, cannon and a halberd. Scattered verdigris spots on back and seams. Rusted spout lever. A powder horn or powderflask were devices used to carry gunpowder, and were generally created from cow or buffalo horn. They were most commonly used with eighteenth century muskets, but were rendered obsolete by the development of breech loading fire arms, in particular, innovations brought about by Hall, Sharps, Spencer and the later development of self-contained cartridges that were developed and marketed successfully by Oliver Winchester. The first known creator of one was a man named Michael London, who was famed for such creations. The use of animal horn along with nonferrous metal parts ensured that the powder would not be detonated by sparks during storage and loading. Horn was also naturally waterproof and already hollow inside. A number of period horns dating from the French and Indian wars throughout the American Revolution and beyond, have been preserved in private and other collections. Many examples shed light on the life and history of the individuals that used them, and can be classified as a unique medium of folk art.