Here is a marvelous early agricultural hinged box that has such fantastic visual appeal. But to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure exactly what I have here. I have never seen one of these in 20 years of selling antiques here in the heart of farm country. I found it recently on a buying trip here in Illinois, and immediately fell in love with it. The size, the shape, the paint (!) and the stenciling are all To-Die-For! This early piece is absolutely awesome. Now....here is what I do know.
The Hoosier Drill Co. was founded in 1857-58 by John M. Westcott in Milton, Indiana. In 1868 it was re-organized and became part of American Seeding Machine Co. The company was incorporated in 1873. In 1878 they moved to Richmond, Indiana.
From what I was able to figure out, this box is either part of a "disc grain drill" or a salesman's sample of a "disc grain drill". From looking at photos of early grain drills, this one here is much, much smaller than the horse-drawn grain drills I saw. (see photo) That's what leads me to believe that it is possibly a saleman's sample. And if that is what this is, it is extremely rare.
A grain drill would be hitched to a pair of horses to pull it through a field of recently shocked corn. It had two large metal wheels, one on each end with the grain drill box in between.
The box for sale here today measures 12.75" wide on one side, 16" on the other. The ends measure 9.5" at the top and 6.25" on the bottom. It is 8.5" tall. The box has the most amazing, worn, mellow paint with fantastic old stenciling on the top hinged lid and the back side. There are iron reinforcements on both ends of the lid and the box itself, as well as the back side. The hinged lid opens and closes smoothly. Inside you will see the "disc openers" on the bottom. There is a very stable age crack on the lid and one tip of iron is missing on one end....but these flaws are inconsequential when considering the rarity of the piece. The piece is extremely heavy, so keep in mind when considering shipping costs.
This piece is a mystery to me, but my gut instinct tells me it is a very rare find indeed. The decorative appeal is fabulous. I am going to regret selling this, I am sure. If you have any information about this piece, please do not hesitate to email me and let me know what you know.
Meanwhile...whoever buys this outstanding, unusual, and rare piece of agricultural history will be absolutely thrilled with their purchase, no question about it. It will be an incredible display piece for any home.
NOTE: This piece is heavy, so expect substantial shipping charges, especially if you live a long distance from Illinois. I will ship UPS Ground. Once I have your zip code I will quote you an estimated price for shipping. Then once you pay the total cost, I promise to refund any overage of shipping charges back into your Paypal account.
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