Powder Flask

about 1720–35

Object Place: Europe, France


17.5 x 7.3 x 2.5 cm (6 7/8 x 2 7/8 x 1 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tortoiseshell, silver

Not On View




Arms and armor

The pear-shaped flask has silver mounts comprising a stepped elongated neck, a stopper in the form of a squirrel, a molded band that encircles the flask, and three loops soldered to the band; a silver chain links two of these loops. The tortoiseshell body of the flask is decorated on both sides with a hunting scene set in an abbreviated landscape. On one side, a man riding a horse pursues a deer; a duck and two large insects fly above (the silver body of a third insect is missing). Inscribed below on a ribboned band: “Heureux qui en peu t autant faire.” On the other side, a running cherub with two hounds chases two rabbits. Four large insects fly above. Below, a similar inscribed band reads”Jamais deux.” All of the figures (excluding two pique point insects) are executed in thin strips of inlaid silver that are finely engraved. The landscape elements are executed in pique point, and a pique point lambrequin border frames the scene on each side.

Credit Line

Arthur Tracy Cabot Fund