About this artwork
To aid in loading pistols from horseback, a premeasured amount of black powder and a lead ball were prepared in cylindrical paper cartridges. This box suspended from the shooter’s belt and could contain four such cartridges. The shooter would tear the paper, pour the powder charge down the barrel, and tamp the bullet over the charge.
Cartridge boxes were often ornamented with figures and coats of arms. This one is startlingly embossed with two lovers, a subject frequently associated with shooting in this period.
- Cartridge Box
- Made 1570–1575
- Steel, iron and wood
- H. 12 cm (4 3/4 in.) Wt. 9 oz.
- George F. Harding Collection