This large sized pantry with very attractive color would be a great fit in any country home. The paint on this box is not original and therefore not as old as this piece. It appears there is a lighter color blue used as a base coat with a darker indigo or midnight blue applied on top. The two tone color values lend a striking contrast. However they may not indicate honest surface wear. When I received this piece the inside walls were painted half way down with inconsistent brush strokes as shown in the before picture (see last image 14). Harry was able to carefully remove this paint and the results portray a light nutmeg colored surface that blends in well with the rest of the darker patina on the walls located near the bottom, as shown in images 3, 8 & 9. I believe the walls of this pantry were fashioned from maple as this is a durable hardwood.
There is a small indent in the front that does add character near the top edge. The wooden handle was painted black with whispers of wear on the edges. The wire bail was inserted in two opposing metal escutcheons located on each side to keep the wire securely in place. There are tiny, round nails lined up in a vertical position that hold the lapped over wood in place. Normally, tiny nails were also used to secure the bottom outside wall to the inside bottom piece. In this case some of these tiny nails are still present but some are not. However there are larger nails with brown oxidation that were used to help secure these areas where the small nails are no long present as they may have fallen out due to the age of this piece.
Harry had to make some necessary repairs to the bottom as there was a piece of wood missing as shown in the before picture (last image 14). He was able to “graft” an old piece of wood that he cut to fill the vacant opening and secured it with skill. It is now, “as right as rain”! We really enjoy taking old pieces such as this one into our hospital for repairs that are done properly to ensure interesting antiques can acquire longevity by extending their life with a little cosmetic surgery! I can assure you their recovery time is almost instantaneous! If I was a piece of wood, I think Harry could give ME a face lift! LOL!
Two areas located on the inside bottom show large chips in the wooden surface that occurred from years of use but there is still plenty of wood left to ensure the integrity of this pantry. See images 8 & 9. The bottom is not painted and sports a wonderful dark patina. There is also a tight crack on the inside wall, near the top that extends 3 ¼” across and is located near the lapped over section (secured on the front with tiny nails). Again, this does not affect the integrity as this piece as it is still structurally sound.
This pantry was probably used to carry grain, oats, etc. from the barn as it does possess a bail handle. It is lightweight for its size but still strong and sturdy. There are no odors present. This is a great piece for display and you can actually place many interesting things inside. It can be used on the table for entertaining, as it can hold silverware in cups along with a stack of cloth napkins for a buffet or pot luck dinner party. You can also use this to help organize office supplies including mail or you can fill this piece with holiday greens, berries, mittens and twinkling lights for the holidays too.
Pantry stands 13 ¾” tall (including the handle), measures 7 ½” tall (box itself), measures 11 1/4” across the top (right to left) and 11 ¾” (front to back). Bottom measurements are the same.
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