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Silver Gunpowder Flask (Talahiq)
Oman
19th century

length: 19cm, weight: 248

This chiselled, solid silver, flattened gunpowder bottle or flask, known as a talahiq, is from Oman and is designed to slide into the belt of a warrior to
accompany his musket. It has a domed, almost architectural quality and is decorated with numerous rows of granulation work, filigree and, around the edge of
the body, a single row of applied conical spikes.

Powder is released from the container by squeezing a lever which reveals a spout.

The shape of the flask is based on an animal horn, the traditional container for gunpowder. A similar example is illustrated in Hoek (2004, p. 64).

The example here has an excellent patina. There are some minor losses to the filigree detailing here and there. Importantly, the age and the fact that the item
has been used are both obvious.

References:
Hoek, C., et al, Ethnic Jewellery: From Africa, Asia and Pacific Islands, Pepin Press, 2004.

Provenance:  UK art market

Inventory no.: 2942

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