Shaker Painted Wooden Pail, possibly New Lebanon, New York, early 19th century, pine staves and bottom, ash hoops with chamfered interlocking fingers, bent ash swing handle which is flat on the outside and curved on the inside to fit comfortably in the hand is secured to the pail with button pins; old putty-colored paint over earlier red paint, (minor imperfections), ht. to rim 11, ht. to top of upright handle 18 3/4, rim dia. 13 1/8 in.
Brother Isaac Newton Youngs of New Lebanon, New York, wrote that the Shakers had worked at coopering from the beginning of their communal period in the late 1780s. He wrote, "the principal part of the business was making tubs and pails, both for the use of Believers & for sale." This New Lebanon, New York, pail exhibits the butt-jointed staves typical of that community. The swing-handle bail is made of a steam-bent hardwood, likely ash, and attached to the upper rim with two cotter pins. The underside of the bail is rounded to conform to the hand; and the bail ends are beveled, a simple preventative measure to avoid splitting. The width of the handle also flares out at the ends where it is attached. The steam-bent ash hoops are joined by tucking the opposing ends into a notched hook. All of these fine details bespeak the Shakers' attention to craftsmanship and quality.
One of the button pins securing the handle is missing a small wooden cotter peg on the inside, and has a nail holding it in place, the lower hoop is a little loose. The staves are butted flat together, no V-shaped grooves.
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