A decorated Toleware (tin) Cheese Cradle with a divided interior, dating from the mid-19th century. Probably American (most tin ones that I have seen are), the side panels and scrolled ends of this piece are free-hand decorated in and varnished over. Nice graceful sweep to the body of the Cradle. The interior is divided into 2 compartments: I assume that was to accommodate 2 different sized wheels of cheese. The cradle measures 13 1/2” x 8” and 4” high at the ends. Very fine condition: the tin is firm and free of splits, cracks, rust and no major (or even very minor) dents. There is some expected rubbing to the gold-highlighted edging, and on the decoration on the scrolled handles. The interior, which is also painted, shows signs of light wear and there are a couple of spots on the side and on the side of the divider that show a white residue, perhaps a chemical reaction to a wheel of cheese.
Large wheels of cheese (Cheddar, etc.) stood up in these cradles and chunks cut off for eating. Often they were used in General Stores and hunks of cheese were cut-off for customer to purchase. The divided interior of this cradle makes it different from most I have seen. I have an example of a single-chamber cradle in red paint in my Ruby Lane