Powder Flask

German, possibly Nuremberg

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 375

During the sixteenth century, German gunmakers set the European standard for continually improving firearms technology. The rifling of gun barrels (cutting of spiral grooves longitudinally on the interior of the barrel) was developed in Germany by the late fifteenth century and greatly improved the accuracy of hunting weapons. The wheellock remained the preferred firing mechanism in Germanic lands well into the eighteenth century. By then, its design and operation had been refined to the greatest possible extent.

The earliest highly decorated firearms are of southern German origin. Throughout the sixteenth century, the German style of firearms ornament was the most influential in Europe, giving way to the French style only in the second quarter of the seventeenth century.

Powder Flask, Horn, bronze, gold, German, possibly Nuremberg

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