This very old wooden sap bucket came from a Vermont farm auction and certainly dates to the 1800s. It must have been used in a sugarbush there. Its signs of use and age add tremendous appeal and character, and it has earned a well-deserved retirement with someone who enjoys country primitives.
It would look terrific displayed on a hearth perhaps even holding kindling, or during the summer a tall arrangement of dried flowers and grasses. Or, just by itself !
This bucket was made with skill by a craftsman, with sloping sides and tightly fitted individual staves, that were slanted across the top, and cut to fit the round bottom. For use, it would have been water tight, hung on a maple tree in very early spring to catch the clear liquid sap dripping out of a spigot that had been hammered into the tree by the farmer.
CONDITION is wonderful for its age, sound and solid. It is so attractive in its original red, with remnants of original white paint inside. You can even see the brush marks in the white. The outside color has lightened and darkened and changed here and there from years of weathering. There are bumps and dings in the wood especially around the top and bottom edges from use and age. . Two metal bands are also original and are firmly attached. There is slight surface rust on them, but nothing worse.
Our "split screen" photo shows all four "side" views.
At the top, very old metal strap hanger is firmly attached to the inside. Near the hanger (SEE PICTURE #4) a prior hole has been plugged, and (SEE LAST PHOTO) a hole in the top rim appears to be broken out from a round hole drilled near the top.
SIZE is 9 inches tall; 11.5 inches across the top; and 9.5 inches across the bottom. Please note, it is not perfectly round due to shrinkage from age and use.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND, per Wikipedia: Indigenous peoples living in northeastern North America were the first groups known to have produced maple syrup and maple sugar. According to aboriginal oral traditions, as well as archaeological evidence, maple tree sap was being processed into syrup long before Europeans arrived in the region. There are no authenticated accounts of how maple syrup production and consumption began, but various legends exist. In the early stages of European colonization in northeastern North America, local indigenous peoples showed the arriving colonists how to tap the trunks of certain types of maples during the spring thaw to harvest the sap. However, rather than making incisions in the bark, the Europeans used the method of drilling tap holes in the trunks with augers. During the 17th and 18th centuries, processed maple sap was used primarily as a source of concentrated sugar, in both liquid and crystallized-solid form, as cane sugar had to be imported from the West Indies.
Until the 1930s, the United States produced most of the world's maple syrup. After rapid growth in the 1990s, Canada produces more than 80 percent of the world's maple syrup, producing about 73,000,000 litres (19,000,000 US gal) in 2016, the vast majority coming from the province of Quebec, which is the world's largest producer, with about 70 percent of global production. Vermont is the biggest US producer, with over 1,320,000 US gallons (5,000,000 L) during the 2013 season, followed by New York with 574,000 US gallons (2,170,000 L) and Maine with 450,000 US gallons (1,700,000 L). Wisconsin, Ohio, New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut all produced marketable quantities of maple syrup of less than 265,000 US gallons (1,000,000 L) each in 2013.
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