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This week’s mystery object is a powder flask! A container used to store and measure gunpowder, it was an essential part of shooting equipment before mass-made paper cartridges.

A metal violin shaped powder flask c. 19th century, with ivy leaf design around neck, a spring loaded outlet and a powder measure adjustable for four amounts. Carry strap is attached. Used to store and measure gunpowder. Spring loaded outlet automatically closes the dispensing spout to prevent sparks from reaching the powder. The maker’s name is G & JW Hawksley, Sheffield.