Engraved 16th Century Wheelock Powder Flask

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  Lot #6  (Sale Order: 6 of 1143)  
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12.75 in. long engraved horn powder flask for use with a wheelock. 2.75 in. spout and 10 in. body with wood plug on bottom. Two iron suspension rings. Engraved with classical motifs including the satyr, Pan, a Romanized version of the Egyptian god Anubis (Hermanubis - a dog headed man carrying a caduceus, guider of souls to the underworld), a naked Roman man, a Roman woman, a smaller satyr and numerous goats. Additional decoration includes leaves and geometric designs. A very old paper tag is attached to the bottom which has the following written in a lovely hand in very old ink: Gunpowder flasket once belonging to the Duke of Cesi and Aquasparta founder of the "Academia dei Lincei" (1606).

Frederico Cesi was the son of the Duke of Aquasparta and in 1603 he and his associates founded the Academia dei Lincei (Academy of the Lynxes) in Rome, which was also known as the Lyncaeorum Academia. This was the first exclusively scientific academy in the world and among its members were the Dutch physician John Heck and the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Very good overall. Fine carving and decoration with the flask showing appropriate age and wear for an item from the late 1500s or early 1600s. Some minor loss and chipping to the horn structure, particularly at the spout. Small void in Pan's body. Some chipping and loss to the wood base. Old collection tag is probably from the 19th century and is difficult to authenticate, but blends nicely with the motifs depicted on the flask and shows good age. A very nice and scarce example of a very early powder flask.

EST $ 1500 - 3000

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This item is part of Historic Firearms & Militaria 2-Day Live Auction
 Wednesday, Nov 2, 2016 | 10:00 AM  Eastern
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Engraved 16th Century Wheelock Powder Flask
Engraved 16th Century Wheelock Powder Flask
Lot number: 6
Seller: Cowan's Auctions
Event: Historic Firearms & Militaria 2-Day Live Auction
Ends: Wednesday, November 2 | 10:00 AM  Eastern

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