Powder Flask of Jacques de Silly (1513–1571), Antler, French

Powder Flask of Jacques de Silly (1513–1571)

L. 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm); W. 5 3/4 in. (14.6 cm)
Firearms Accessories-Powder Horns
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 375
The consummate works of an anonymous French artist, this flask and another in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (acc. no. 2014.191) are made of polished antler, and expertly carved at the front. Whereas one flask sports the heraldic arms and personal emblem of its noble owner, the other features a scene from the Old Testament, Samson’s victory over the giant Goliath. As is often the case, the metal mountings that would have capped the flasks’s extremities are now lost.
William H. Riggs, Paris (until 1913; his gift to MMA).
Chassant, Alphonse, and Henri Tausin. Dictionnaire des Devises Historiques et Héraldiques: Avec Figures et une Table Alphabétique des Noms. Vol. II. Paris: J.B. Dumoulin, 1878. p. 681 (motto "Tanquam Marpesia Cautes" identified as that of François de Silly).

Rolland, Victor, Henri Rolland, and J. G. Petrick. Armoiries des Familles Contenues dans l'Armorial Général de J.B. Rieststap. Vol. II. Paris: Institut Héraldique Universel, 1903–1926. p. 488 (arms of de Silly).

Dean, Bashford, and Robert T. Nichol. Handbook of Arms and Armor, European and Oriental, edited by Stephen V. Grancsay. 4th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 1930. p. 180, fig. 116.

Philippovich, Eugen von. Elfenbein: Ein Handbuch für Sammler und Liebhaber. Bibliothek für Kunst- und Antiquitätenfreunde, Vol. 17. Brunswick: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1961. pp. 276–77, fig. 206 (similar powder flasks discussed and illustrated).

Philippowich, Eugen von. "Krudthorn af Elfenben og Lignende Materialer." Våbenhistorisk Tidsskrift (1968), p. 259, fig. 4 (a related powder flask).

Nickel, Helmut, William Reid, Ian Eaves, Mario Scalini, Claude Gaier, Álvaro Soler Del Campo, Jean-Pierre Reverseau, Jan Piet Pyupe, Donald J. La Rocca, Jeffrey Forgeng, Jonathan Tavares, Dirk H. Breiding, Pierre Terjanian, and Mr. Ronald S. Lauder. The Armorer's Art: Essays in Honor of Stuart Pyhrr, edited by Donald J. La Rocca. Woonsocket, Rhode Island: Andrew Mowbray Inc. – Publishers, 2014. pp. 143–156, figs. 1–5.

Terjanian, Pierre. "A French Renaissance Powder Flask in the Collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art." In The Armorer's Art: Essays in Honor of Stuart Pyhrr. Woonsocket, Rhode Island: Andrew Mowbray Inc. – Publishers, 2014. pp. 143–156, figs. 1–5.