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Jun 25, 2018







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Treasure hunt: September 25, 2014


09/25/14
By Donna Welch



 Dear Donna,

This treasure spent many a year in my parents’ barn before my sister inherited it. She recently decided that I had more storage room than she does, and so now it is in my care. I am hoping you can tell me exactly what it is and what it may have been used for so that I will know what to call it. There is some faded lettering on it, but I can only make out the last three letters (TON) on the bottom line; might be Boston. Any information you can give me would be appreciated.
A fan
 
Dear Fan,
I will be able to help you. What you have is an oyster bucket. It was used for carrying oysters. You don’t see them often, so most people don’t know what they are. They are similar to a firkin, which was for dry storage, but with yours having a lock and the industrial bale on it, this is what shows me it is an oyster bucket.
Time frame on this would be around the late 1800s to early 1900s. The writing you see slightly is probably a company from Boston, so you are right in the lettering. I have seen a couple in my career and both said Boston and the name of the company, but when I did research I couldn’t find either of the companies.
You have inherited a little treasure, because, as I said, you don’t see them often and when you do and they have an original painted surface, they range in the $300-plus range. I have seen one with a four-digit price on it as well. But I have never seen one sold, so it’s tough to tell exactly. I can tell you that the better the paint and writing and condition, the higher the price, so you can look at yours and kind of assess where it would be. No matter what, it definitely is a desirable item to collectors.  
 
Donna Welch has spent more than 20 years in the antiques and collectibles field and owns From Out Of The Woods Antique Center in Goffstown (fromoutofthewoodsantiques.com). She is an antiques appraiser and instructor. To find out about your antique or collectible, send a clear photo of the object and information about it to Donna Welch, From Out Of The Woods Antique Center, 465 Mast Road, Goffstown, N.H., 03045. Or email her at footwdw@aol.com or drop by the shop (call first, 624-8668).
 
As seen in the September 25, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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