A Bohemian enamelled flask with figure and pewter mount, inscribed SAMSON, dated 1590
Lot 18
A Bohemian pewter-mounted and enamelled flask, dated 1590
Sold for £3,250 (US$ 5,457) inc. premium
Lot Details
A Bohemian pewter-mounted and enamelled flask, dated 1590
The globular form of bluish-green tint painted with the kneeling figure of Samson holding an animal's bone from which flows water, inscribed SAMSON 1590, the reverse with lily-of-the valley, applied on the shoulder and below the rim of the tall cylindrical neck with two light-blue circular trails, inscribed 1*5*9*0* below a wavy border, the rim with the remains of a gilt band between two white dotted line borders, over an everted double-walled foot, the scroll handle with hinged cover with acorn finial, kick-in base, 19.8cm high (handle restuck)


  • The image is taken from the Old Testament (Judges 15:14-19) and relates to Samson's slaying of the Philistines by wielding an ass's jawbone. According to the Biblical story, he slew a thousand of them until they lay 'heaps upon heaps'. After this labour God caused water to flow from the jawbone for him to quench his thirst. The curious incident of water flowing from the bone has been explained as a mistranslation. In the original Hebrew Samson drank from a spring whose name signified 'jaw'.
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