A Fine Mughal Indo-Portuguese Gujarati Fish Shaped Mother of Pearl and Brass Mounted Priming Flask ‘Barutdan’
Size: 20cm long, 5.5cm high (max) 3.5cm deep - 8 ins long, 2¼ ins high (max) 1¼ ins deep / 13cm high - 5 ins high (on base)
Hunting was a favoured pastime of the Mughal court and these priming flasks were essential to the hunt. With matchlock, wheel lock and flint lock guns it was necessary to use finer powder in the pan than in the charge.
The act of filling the pan was called priming, and the flask to hold the fine powder, the primer. In Europe it was a small counterpart of the flask used for charge powder, but in India and the East a great variety of shapes were used.
These were favourite objects for decoration, and the primer being small and constantly carried became a valuable and often fashionable hunting accessory.