The form of the 'pilgirm flask' has its roots in the leather water flask carried by the pilgrim or traveller of the middle ages. T. Schroder in, The Gilbert Collection of Silver and Gold, Los Angeles, 1988, p. 455, traces the development of the form to French silver examples of the late 16th century; although described as 'flagons' they have the same pear-shaped shape, elongated neck and oval section of later examples. Popular until the end of the 16th century, a revival of their manufacture took place in the 1660s. Particularly grand flasks with fine cut-card work were produced in the late 17th and early 18th century provided the inspiration for Edward Farrell and Robert Garrard in the 19th century. They were used as grand display plate and many of the later examples by Garrard were presentation pieces from the Royal Families of Europe such as those exhibited, London, Sotheby's, English Silver Treasures from the Kremlin, 1991, no. 111 which were given by the Royal Families of Greece and Denmark to Alexander III on his marriage to Maria Fedorovna in 1866.