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Colonial Spanish Powder Flask (Yesquero)

Colonial Spanish, Argentina
19th century

length: 7cm (not taking into account the curve), weight: 27.59g

Available - Enquire


UK art market

This small powder flask (or possibly a snuff container) is from 19th century Argentina.  It has superb wear and patina.

A very similar example identified as a powder flask is illustrated in Luis Ribera & Schenone (1981, p. 316).

It comprises the tip of the tail of a mulita or armadillo, and has engraved silver mounts. The lid or cover sits in the mouth of the flask and is engraved with a leafy pattern. It is joined to the silver-encased tip of the flask by means of a silver chain.

(Superficially, armadillos look like pangolins but are unrelated to them. The former are native to South America whereas pangolins are native to Africa and Asia. The armadillo that is native to Argentina (Cabassous tatouay) is a non-CITES listed species.

Overall, this is a somewhat rare example of Spanish colonial silver.




Luis Ribera, A., & H.H. Schenone, Plateria Sudamericana de los Siglos XVII-XX, Hirmer Verlag Muchen, 1981.

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