Gunpowder Flask

Maker and role
John Matthewman (British, b.1819, d.1901), Maker
Production date
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Object detail

Copper, brass
8 x 3 1/2 x 1 3/4" (20.3 x 8.9 x 4.4cm)
Powder flasks were made with a variety of tops and chargers. Manufacturers used popular flask designs for decades and simply attached new tops and chargers as they were invented. This is one of John Matthewman’s many flasks that featured deer imagery. It is fitted with a brass patent top, suggesting that it was made late in his 25-year flask-making career. Patent tops were developed by makers in an effort to make their products safer and can be distinguished from common tops by their lack of a visible top spring. Matthewman made flasks featuring deer since the early days of his New Haven, Connecticut, factory.

Gunpowder was sold in bulk and gunpowder flasks were used to carry gunpowder when out in the field.
Object number
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