Need help identifying please

JulieM

Cadet
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Hi all, we have this (one of many!) powder flask in our collection at the museum I work for. I am not sure if it's a repro or not and need help deciding if it is, or if it's an original, and how to tell the difference? My predecessors were less than accurate when it came to identifying artifacts, so I only know that it came into the collection in 1983.
It is unmarked, as far as I can tell.
DSC_72B_25770-Edit Low Res .jpg
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
This looks like and interesting book. I see flasks at antique stores and they are nice looking, but I know nothing about flasks.
 

lupaglupa

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Good morning Julie.
Here's the solution to your {and everyone else's} powder flask quandary. The book is long out of print but can still be found.
Written by Ray Riling. The photo is of a first edition, sans dust cover...

View attachment 384780
I never stop being amazed at how there is information out there on everything. And I'm equally amazed that someone on CWT inevitably knows what and where it is.
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
Hi all, we have this (one of many!) powder flask in our collection at the museum I work for. I am not sure if it's a repro or not and need help deciding if it is, or if it's an original, and how to tell the difference? My predecessors were less than accurate when it came to identifying artifacts, so I only know that it came into the collection in 1983.
It is unmarked, as far as I can tell. View attachment 384712
What I think you have is a powder flask for a sorting rifle or shotgun, (I'm more inclined that it's for a shotgun). I say it's for a sporting weapon due to the scene on the flask; a dog under perhaps two turkeys which indicate hunting seen verses eagles flags and perhaps crossed cannons that would be found on a powder flask used for a military weapon.
On some of the flasks, you could put on spouts of different lengths so as to vary the amount of powder which was held in the spout.
Are there any markings whatsoever on the flask?
 

DixieRifles

Captain
Member of the Year
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Location
Collierville, TN
I searched for examples of Early American Powder Flasks. On one sale site, I found several examples of brass flasks that sale for $90 up to $350. Here are a few from that site:
- Large 8-1/2 Flask (@ $350) http://www.ambroseantiques.com/hornsflasks/bear.htm
- Medium Flask 1850's ($155) Medium Flask

"Dog Scene" Flash with missing spout @$35 -- Dog Scene Flask Another site calls it a Remington design.

NPS.gov has a PDF document but it only covers powder horns and Flasks made from horn.

A reproduction of yours is listed on eBay for $100. Fake
I get hits on a lot of flasks that seem to be this same fake. I think the experts are confused if they are vintage or Reproductions. Heritage Auction
 
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ucvrelics

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
Its just a common flask that everyone had if you had a sorting rifle, some were fancy some made out of a cows horn but you had to have one.
 

ucvrelics

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
Hi all, we have this (one of many!) powder flask in our collection at the museum I work for. I am not sure if it's a repro or not and need help deciding if it is, or if it's an original, and how to tell the difference? My predecessors were less than accurate when it came to identifying artifacts, so I only know that it came into the collection in 1983.
It is unmarked, as far as I can tell. View attachment 384712
If you will go to the upper right hand corner you will see the search box just type in powder flask and you will find a tons of info here at CWT and have to deal with outside vendor links.

1608167448249.png
 

Peter Stines

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
The flask looks similar to those made/sold by Remington, a major competitor to Colt. It could also be a product of the American Flask & Cap Co. They made flasks and percussion caps and related items. (England had Hawksley and Dixon for flask makers and they were major competitors to the Americans.)
The brass pouring spout is larger than ones used for revolvers. It also looks adjustable which suggets that this flask was for a hunting rifle or shotgun. An adjustable spout made it possible to vary the powder charge and to accomodate a variety of guns.
I've worked in libraries and museums since 1988. I got handle a lot of neat artifacts including one of Sam Houston's canes.
 

JulieM

Cadet
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
What I think you have is a powder flask for a sorting rifle or shotgun, (I'm more inclined that it's for a shotgun). I say it's for a sporting weapon due to the scene on the flask; a dog under perhaps two turkeys which indicate hunting seen verses eagles flags and perhaps crossed cannons that would be found on a powder flask used for a military weapon.
On some of the flasks, you could put on spouts of different lengths so as to vary the amount of powder which was held in the spout.
Are there any markings whatsoever on the flask?
No markings. I went over the flask with a microscope :frown:
 

JulieM

Cadet
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
The flask looks similar to those made/sold by Remington, a major competitor to Colt. It could also be a product of the American Flask & Cap Co. They made flasks and percussion caps and related items. (England had Hawksley and Dixon for flask makers and they were major competitors to the Americans.)
The brass pouring spout is larger than ones used for revolvers. It also looks adjustable which suggets that this flask was for a hunting rifle or shotgun. An adjustable spout made it possible to vary the powder charge and to accomodate a variety of guns.
I've worked in libraries and museums since 1988. I got handle a lot of neat artifacts including one of Sam Houston's canes.
I LOVE my job, because of the history involved! I envy you for seeing Sam Huston's artifacts! The flask...I am trying to authenticate and date it. My predecessors were notorious for not following industry standards for provenance, let alone identification and care.
I know some black powder, I used to shoot a .65 cal Brown Bess, best gun I ever owned! Wish I hadn't sold it, but it has a great home. Unfortunately, my main field of study was the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1868, and it's impact on my Nation, so I know little about weapons.
Thanks everyone for the input, it's greatly appreciated!
 

JulieM

Cadet
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
What I think you have is a powder flask for a sorting rifle or shotgun, (I'm more inclined that it's for a shotgun). I say it's for a sporting weapon due to the scene on the flask; a dog under perhaps two turkeys which indicate hunting seen verses eagles flags and perhaps crossed cannons that would be found on a powder flask used for a military weapon.
On some of the flasks, you could put on spouts of different lengths so as to vary the amount of powder which was held in the spout.
Are there any markings whatsoever on the flask?
No marks other than the measurements on the spout. Basically I need an approximate date on the flask... is it real or a repro?
 

Peter Stines

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
FWIW W
I LOVE my job, because of the history involved! I envy you for seeing Sam Huston's artifacts! The flask...I am trying to authenticate and date it. My predecessors were notorious for not following industry standards for provenance, let alone identification and care.
I know some black powder, I used to shoot a .65 cal Brown Bess, best gun I ever owned! Wish I hadn't sold it, but it has a great home. Unfortunately, my main field of study was the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1868, and it's impact on my Nation, so I know little about weapons.
Thanks everyone for the input, it's greatly appreciated!
FWIW When I worked at the Sam Houston Center in Liberty they had a lock of his hair. People that knew Houston well said his hair was coarse and thick "like a buffalo hair mop". After seeing it I believe it. Still was chestnut colored. They also had a pair of his moccasins. Eastern woodland style. Houston refused to take the oath to support the Confederacy and resigned governorship of Texas.
 

Lampasas Bill

Corporal
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
It does give one a thrill to handle the artifacts of famous people. In the 1970s my first museum job was at the San Jacinto Museum of history in the base if the San Jacinto Monument. I got to rearrange the museum's Sam Houston display which included the gold ring given him by his mother. Inside the ring is engraved the word "Honor." It gave me quite a chill when I slipped it on my finger!
 

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