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Old 31st August 2018, 07:45 AM   #1
mahratt
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Default Powder flask from Afghanistan

Hi guys
Do any of you have such powder flask in the collection? It is interesting to see their varieties.
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Old 31st August 2018, 08:20 AM   #2
Kubur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
Hi guys
Do any of you have such powder flask in the collection? It is interesting to see their varieties.


Hi
I saw at least three like this one and one is published by Oliver Pinchot.
Kubur
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Old 31st August 2018, 08:27 AM   #3
mahratt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi
I saw at least three like this one and one is published by Oliver Pinchot.
Kubur


Hi Kubur!

You are talking about the powder flask that is published in the book in the book Arms of the Paladins : The Richard R. Wagner Jr. Collection of Fine Eastern Weapons?

Dima
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Old 31st August 2018, 02:05 PM   #4
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Heres one I have, sadly missing a few parts.
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Last edited by Robert : 31st August 2018 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Links to items currently offered for sale are not allowed.
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Old 31st August 2018, 03:07 PM   #5
ariel
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Interesting that Jonathan Barrett, a well-known expert in Oriental arms ( I still remember his invited lecture on Indian sword hilts in Timonium) defines both his examples as Indian, not Afghani. Strangely, I could not find anything similar in Oliver’s book.
Where would you place yours?

Last edited by ariel : 31st August 2018 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 31st August 2018, 04:20 PM   #6
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I'd be vague and say Northern India/Afghan, as I assume its more a tribal design ?
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Old 31st August 2018, 04:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stenoyab
I'd be vague and say Northern India/Afghan, as I assume its more a tribal design ?


I completely agree with you.

1) this is undoubtedly a tribal design of different levels of complexity
2) several similar powder flasks were sold at a well-known auction and were attributed to Afghanistan (here is one of them):
https://www.hermann-historica.de/en...3&currentpos=34
3) my powder flask of this type was brought to me from Kabul. And the man who brought her to me, said that he saw on the bazaar in Kabul more than a few powder flasks of this type.

Dima

P.S. There are other examples that show that these powder flasks are from Afghanistan. Such as this:
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Old 31st August 2018, 08:59 PM   #8
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Kubur, thanks again! I looked book of the respected Oliver Pincio. He also writes that the powder flasks we are discussing were made in Afghanistan.
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Old 1st September 2018, 08:29 AM   #9
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Dear forum participants, does anyone else have in the collection such powder flasks?
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Old 1st September 2018, 04:50 PM   #10
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Hi Mahratt

I thought I one. But after searching for a while, I guess I don't. Although I've seen this style before. I tried to buy one off a seller on ebay about a year ago. But he wanted too much money for it and wouldn't budge. So I passed on it.
Would like to own one to see how they actually worked. It's an unusual design for a powder flask.

I was always under the impression these were Afghan origin. The workmanship is similar. I've seen them on more than one Afghan rifleman's belts such as the beautiful one posted above.

Rick
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Old 1st September 2018, 04:56 PM   #11
Oliver Pinchot
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They are certainly Afghan work. On those flasks which retain it, the cutoff spring (such as it is) is typically made of wood or horn.
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Old 1st September 2018, 05:40 PM   #12
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Hi Rick and Oliver. Thank you! I also do not doubt the Afghan origin of these powder flasks.

I have one, but unfortunately sadly missing a few parts, similarly a powder flask, which was shown stenoyab.

Rick, I also tried to buy one off a seller on ebay about a year ago. I think that this one was the same powder flask
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Old 2nd September 2018, 03:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
Hi Rick and Oliver. Thank you! I also do not doubt the Afghan origin of these powder flasks.

I have one, but unfortunately sadly missing a few parts, similarly a powder flask, which was shown stenoyab.

Rick, I also tried to buy one off a seller on ebay about a year ago. I think that this one was the same powder flask

Hi Mahratt

Interesting point Oliver makes ref the cut-off spring being made of horn or wood. That was my guess also, but I've never held one to examine.

The flask you posted could indeed be the same one I saw offered on the Internet. It does look similar. But my memory is not what it used to be. LOL But I will keep my eyes open for one if it comes up for sale. Would like to see how it functions, which is not comepletely obvious. It's an interesting design.

Rick
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Old 22nd March 2019, 12:09 PM   #14
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Hi Guys

I got something of interest.
The lapis indicates Afghanistan but the silver work represents an Indian deity maybe from Nepal... What do you think? And please don't tell me that it was added later, the decoration was cut and done for the powder flask... so it's very intriguing...

Kubur
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Old 22nd March 2019, 06:07 PM   #15
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Interesting topic, and especially as I enjoy learning more on these items I am not familiar with. What is interesting is the classification conundrum which always of course arises as these items are discussed.

As well known, geographic borders are diaphanous, and tribal regions often fluctuate, so hard and fast geographic denominators are typically somewhat futile in ethnographic arms. As has been noted, the character of decoration is more reliable as these are often keenly favored or traditionally recognized by tribal groups.

The term Afghan was often strained in the 19th c. as due to British occupation and efforts to control administratively, the emphasis was on districts etc. and the Northwest Frontier was simply a northern region of India. In many cases the more effective classification would have been Pashtun (tribally) or Indo-Afghan (geographically).

The example posted by Kubur is interesting as it has a silvered strip of embossed figures suggesting Indian character as noted, and seems to have been cut for the flask from some larger item. It would be hard to say when this was added, but like most weapons in ethnographica , these were certainly refurbished and kept serviceable through long working lives.
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Old 22nd March 2019, 09:51 PM   #16
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Jim is 100% correct: at that time and even later on the borders were leaking like a sieve. In reality, there were no hermetic borders between the NW Frontier of British India and Afghanistan as well as between Afghanistan and the Central Asian Emirates/Khanates.

Thus, IMHO, we cannot define weapons from that part of the world according to strict geography. We can only talk about particular ethnicities and peculiarities of their weapons.

Even now, a good part of ethnic Afghani Pashtuns live in the Pakistani Pahtunhwa, there are more Tajiks living in Afghanistan than in Tajikistan proper and the geographically “Uzbekistani” cities Bukhara and Khokhand have always had a majority of Tajik population.
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Old 28th March 2019, 10:08 PM   #17
Tatyana Dianova
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These figures look pretty familiar to me
Take a look here:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showp...67&postcount=19
It looks like they both traveled from Afghanistan to North India and were "enhanced" there by their later owner, most probably with amuletic purpose.
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Old 29th March 2019, 10:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatyana Dianova
These figures look pretty familiar to me
Take a look here:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showp...67&postcount=19
It looks like they both traveled from Afghanistan to North India and were "enhanced" there by their later owner, most probably with amuletic purpose.


Thank you Tatyana
It's exactly the answser to my question!
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Old 31st March 2019, 04:39 PM   #19
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Hi Kubar

What an interesting powder flask. And it appears that it's geographical origins would be confirmed per the above posts. The silver and blue stone decoration are very attractive. A wonderful mix of neighboring cultures.
It appears that the horn/wood spine is simply depressed in a spring action motion to lift the cover off the spout to access the powder. Am I correct ?

Great piece to add to your collection. Congratulations.

Rick
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