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This unique and hard to find small dough bin sporting four splayed legs can certainly keep us guessing as to whether it could also be a salesman sample. When I delved deeper to obtain clarity I found that almost all salesman samples were marked with either the companies name or logo. This piece does not provide any indications that it was ever marked therefore I am calling it a child’s dough bin or box.
It could have possibly been made on the farm by a loving father for a child so she could work in the kitchen alongside her mother to prepare dough for breadmaking. This 1900 to 1940’s piece has a hinged lid feature so the dough could easily be accessed after it rose from the yeast addition.
It is noteworthy to explain this process and how it worked. Flour was added into a dough box or trough to start bread-making. If a dough box possessed legs there was no need for it to sit on a table as this piece could be moved to another part of the room where the temperature was more favorable. Flour had to be warmed during the winter months if it was stored in a cold barn or cellar and subsequently the inside of the dough box provided the right conditions especially if placed near the hearth. When yeast was added the mixture had to also stay warm in order for the dough to rise. Another advantage to using a box shaped trough is the dough was more confined and could be kneaded without spilling excess flour hither and yon.
The lid served three functions; number 1, when closed it kept the dough warm by the hearth until it rose while also protecting it from mice or flying ashes caused from the hearths flames. Number 2, the lid also acted as a surface for shaping worked dough after it had risen and can now be formed into loaves that would allow the final fermentation. Number 3, this box could also be used to store the baked bread.
A warm patina graces this box with dark areas sprinkled randomly throughout especially on the lid. Small scratches appear on the front of the box along with some minor scratches that are present on the sides as well as the front. The lid is slightly warped as shown in image 6 as you can see daylight shinning though on the end locations. We tightened the screws on the hinges as they were a little loose which seemed to interfere with the lid closure being flush against the box.
A tight crack can be found on the back side of the bin as shown in images 16, 17 & 19 that runs the full length but eventually terminates at the leg area. Different sized nails were used to construct this piece as shown in images 18 & 19 and the wood does exhibit appropriate nail bleed.
This piece is great to display your rolling pins in as pictured with the lid in the upright position or you can also decorate the top with a stoneware mixing bowl followed by a wooden spoon with your coveted cookie cutters placed nearby. If you have a glass jar why not fill it with flour and incorporate other old baking objects that will grace the top of the bin by creating a “baking” theme. This piece can be placed on a table to create height or can easily be tucked in a lonesome corner. Very interesting piece that is not commonly found so you may not want to hesitate on purchasing this great dough bin! Enjoy!
Doug Bin stands 12” tall, measures 12 ½” across the top (right to left) and measures 8” deep (front to back). The inside area stands 5 ½” tall and measures 10 ¼” across (right to left) and measures 6” deep (front to back).
~Freight (Standard Mail) included, however Insurance is optional and can be purchased @ checkout ~ within the continental U.S.