Author Topic: Victorian Powder Storage Flask - Sterling  (Read 926 times)

Offline Goosenheimer

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Victorian Powder Storage Flask - Sterling
« on: November 11, 2022, 01:17:47 AM »
This fabulous sterling silver powder storage flask was labeled as a "Civil War Officer's Canteen" in a Florida antique mall. The whole flask with leather cover weighs 2.3 lbs.  It contains almost 2 lbs of sterling silver. It is bulbous on the obverse and flat on the reverse with a flat base.  It retains the shoulder strap attachments on the leather cover.  The sterling hallmarks indicate this was made in the late Victorian era, 1888, by silversmith William Summers of London.  The engraving on the spout collar reads:

"A. Wynne Corrie"
"Park Hall"
"Oswestry"


Alfred Wynne Corrie, Esq. was a grand old fellow.  Much in the style of the Fictional Lord Grantham of Downton Abbey, Major Wynne Corrie was landed gentry, the lord of a big country house - Park Hall, and commandant of the regional home defense corps in his area.

Sure curious how this flask ended up in a little old antique shop in SW Florida.

Despite a deep internet search, I have not found another sterling silver example.  There are numerous brass versions of these military and plainly marked flasks.  Does anyone out there have any knowledge or experience with these big old flasks?  I assume they were used to refill rifle and pistol flasks.











Offline Tanselman

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Re: Victorian Powder Storage Flask - Sterling
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2022, 04:21:24 AM »
It's a neat flask, but I would have thought it was a rich man's drinking flask for carrying alcohol in the field when hunting, riding, walking outdoors, etc., based on the lengthy threaded section in spout and silver construction. Is there any material like cork inside the lid? I'm curious if this specific type flask with a similar lid design [lengthy threaded section] has been identified as a gun powder flask in a reference book. I've seen a lot of gun powder flasks, but this flask seems like it might have been destined for something other than gun powder... like a nip or two for a thirsty gentleman. Of course, I've been wrong before on numerous occasions according to my wife!

Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: November 11, 2022, 04:27:34 AM by Tanselman »

Offline Goosenheimer

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Re: Victorian Powder Storage Flask - Sterling
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2022, 04:54:26 PM »
Thanks for the insight Shelby.  Attached below are photos of four powder storage flasks in brass currently on the web.  Most of them are thought to be 18th century and are definitively powder flasks, again all in brass.

This sterling version is identical in form, except it never had a lock hasp welded to the cap, but the loop for the lock is on the collar.  Yes, there is cork in the top of the cap.  A lengthy search for a drinking flask/bottle/canteen in this form yielded no similar specimens.

It may be a novelty wealthy gentleman's drinking flask made in the form of a big powder flask.  To make a big utilitarian vessel from sterling silver and then hide it under leather seems odd to me too.  It could hold more than a quart of booze, enough for the whole hunting party!

According to annals from Oswestry, Mr. Wynne Corrie hosted other gentlemen to his estate for pheasant hunts and such, so he was a shooter. 









Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Victorian Powder Storage Flask - Sterling
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2022, 01:20:52 AM »
 Since it has a screw cap rather than a flip, pull off, tip off, etc... cap and cork in the top I'd go with Shelby's "drinking flask" idea. Neat piece though.

   Tim C.