This little 19th century wooden firkin is absolutely adorable. An unusual size -- about half as big as standard size firkins -- it is almost a miniature. See our pictures -- at less than 7 inches tall, it is smaller than a one-gallon water jug! The side view is tapered - the bucket is 6 inches across the top and 7 inches across at the bottom. Everything is completely original and it even has its original lid!
Condition is exceptional, with NO broken or missing parts and NO splits or cracks in the wood. The upright staves are tongue-in-groove construction and fit together snugly. Even the wire bail with its round wooden handle is all original. The color of the wood has darkened to a fabulous, rich, warm chestnut. It has an old, probably wax finish, beautifully done, needing nothing. There is a lighter spot on the top of the lid - apparently the way the wood aged.
Securing the bucket are one-finger hoops : one at the top and one at the bottom of the bucket, and one around the lid. The fingers are secured with copper nails.
IMPORTANT: The lower hoop is loose -- see our pictures. Its finger is securely fastened, and we have left it alone, as found. This is because wood shrinks as it ages. The wooden sides have shrunk, so the horizontal hoop no longer fits snugly.
As you can see, the lower hoop can be placed so this is a minimal concern.
Sadly, this was an estate sale item, and we have no history about this little bucket. Copper nail construction was a Shaker favorite, but we cannot authenticate this firkin was Shaker made.
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Antique 1800s Small Wooden Firkin Miniature Sugar Bucket with Lid, Fingered Hoops and Copper Nails