Powder Horn

Mutten, 1520

This powder flask made from a cow horn features carvings of the emblems of the Three Leagues: the ibex, the cross and the «wild man». In addition it bears the date 1520. Hence it dates back to a time when matchlock («Luntenschloss» in German) firearms were common.

By means of the horn, a small amount of black powder was poured into the barrel of the gun, then the bullet was put in and a stick used to press everything tightly together. The shot was released via a glowing fuse, called «Lunte». This loading process was cumbersome and not without risk, because the shot could literally «backfire».