Cartridge boxes or "belly boxes" were rigid leather cases suspended by loops from belts. Their function was to carry and to keep dry cartridges (a form of ammunition consisting of granulated powder with lead shot in brown paper). This style of "belly box" had a leather flap that encased the upper portion of the box body when closed. Rigidity was provided by a wooden lining attached with small pegs. This cartridge box, complete with remnants of prepared cartridges, was recovered from the wreckage of a 1690 merchant vessel from Boston. The ship was one of thirty-two ships under the command of Sir William Phips. The goal of the ill-fated naval expedition was to take Québec.
Date: circa 1690