All sorts of barrel-shaped vessels are to be found if one keeps one's eyes open for such things. Most that I come across date from before the 1950s, when plastic containers became ubiquitous and, well, ruined everything.
We recently came across an assortment of little barrel-shaped vessels for sale at White Whale Limited, one of our favorite antiques shops in Hudson, New York. Owned and operated by two generations of the Ribar family, White Whale is a required destination of ours in Hudson and a place where we have had great good luck finding wonderful things for Darlington House, ranging from vintage Christmas ornaments to early neoclassical Staffordshire figures. We rarely come away from a visit to White Whale with nothing in hand.
Among the numerous little barrels for sale we chose the three small ones shown in this post. Two are made of glazed earthenware and one is made of mixed metals. The green and yellow barrels stand about three inches tall; the larger metal one is approximately five inches tall. All three were made to squirrel away coins. They were fortunate to avoid the fate of many a child's piggy bank: smashed to shards to cash in the treasure within. I believe our little barrels date from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century.
Aren't they charming?
White Whale Limited
410 Warren Street
Hudson, New York 12534
Monday - Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
T: (518) 755-6441
Photographs by Boy Fenwick