A wonderful old firkin sewing bucket or basket, and a really good looking piece with much character and charm.
We're not sure if this started out as a sewing basket or if it was converted, but either way, it's a very handsome piece in very good condition! We believe the wood is oak, varnished or painted to a deep patina with wear to edges of the lapped hoops that surround the staves. The interior has a half shelf with attached pin cushion and thread holders, and on the opposite side, there are 2 fabric "holders", one presumably for scissors and the other likely for a ruler. The half shelf is held in place by 3 single slot screws, so we are sure it can be removed if desired.
Measurements: 14 1/4" high with the handle in the upright position. Excluding the handle, the firkin is 10 1/2" tall to the top of the knob finial. The top is 9 1/2" in diameter, widening to a base diameter of 10 3/8".
The only markings on the piece are what appears to be a date on the bottom: 3-13-40. Whether this is the date of manufacture or a date to indicate when contents were stored, we can't say. Firkins were originally used as barrel for beer or other alcoholic beverage aging; later, they were used to gather tree sap or sugars, such as maple sugar.
The upper lapped hoop is a bit loose, and there are some chips to the edge of the lid as you can see in the photos. Structurally, the piece is very sound, and it displays beautifully. The handle is in great condition, no issues.
This piece weighs 3 1/2 lbs before packing, and shipping will be via FedEx Ground/Home Delivery, insurance included.