Friday, June 7, 2013

Drinking Flask, Part 4

I stumbled upon two other flasks to add to this collection of specimens.  These are by Hans Sebald Beham.  Unfortunately, since they are engravings, there is a decided lack of color in the flasks to help determine their material make-up.

A Fool and a Lady Fool, circa 1540, Hans Sebald Beham

Apostles Series, St Jacobus, circa 1545-50, Hans Sebald Beham


These representations have feet similar to the Romanian example, which leads me to wonder if the earlier period wooden flasks were made without feet and the feet became more prevalent as time progressed.  I also wonder if these flasks were common enough in usage, at least for travel, to be taken for granted in artwork?

Another thought, could it be a powder flask instead of a drinking flask?  Doing a little research on powder flasks indicates that this would be somewhat unlikely, especially since jesters and saints were less likely to carry an object intended for warfare.

As I was attempting to find more artwork to put in this post, I realized that Larsdatter.com has a page devoted to Costrels, Flasks, and Canteens. (Fabulous collection of images, by the way, on so many different subjects, but I digress.)  Most of the images on this page which relate to Germanic flasks all appear to be metal or ceramic, yet Meister Bertram's are colored as if to indicate wood, though ceramic or terracotta could also explain the color.

Another thought, most of the images showing a flask maker indicate flasks were made of metal (the Mendel Hausbuch shows at least 6).  I cannot seem to find one showing some other method for making flasks.  Granted, that doesn't mean they weren't made in other ways, but for now, it seems odd that the only method I can find currently is anvil treated metal.  So I started thinking, what about metal covered in leather?  Would that account for these pale brown flasks?  Perhaps.

In any case, more of the pale brown variety are shown below:

St John the Baptist and St Jodocus, circa 1425-35, Unknown Germanic Artist

The Flight into Egypt (Detail), circa 1500-02, Jörg Breu the Elder
Including one that is a metal flask covered in tooled leather!

Leather-covered Metal Flask, 1501-15, Tyrol (?)

As my husband likes to work metal upon occasion, I may have to ask his opinion on the likelihood of acquiring one of these...


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