Eastern Woodlands Ash Burl
Northeast, ca. 18th to early 19th century. Ash burl bowl extending into a straight grain ash handle. Remarkable rich, dark, historic dry surface, the patina chocolate brown with pleasing tones of red. There are three large gorgeous rose-head nails at the neck where the handle meets the bowl to mend and reinforce an area which over time saw tremendous stress and heat as it extended over the fire and into the boiling kettle of maple sap. The inside of the bowl has a beautiful organic look and feel, with tool marks still readily visible.
Woodlands Indians have been cultivating maple sap for centuries. In the spring, native communities would come together for “Sugar Camp”, as the sugar obtained from boiling down maple sap was important to them, used as a seasoning for food, even fish and meats. The sap would be heated in large vats, with ladles used to facilitate stirring and pouring. Maple sugars would be stored in wooden molds. Easy to hang as there is an iron loop at the end of the handle. See my BLOG for a view of a modern day sugaring ladle with remarkably similar form CLICK HERE. For reference, see The Art of the Spirit World: Woodlands, Steven Michaan, pages 86-87; and North American Burl Treen, Steve Powers, page 181.
Overall length about 54 inches. Bowl about 10 ½ inches diameter and quite deep at 6 inches. A rare historic object. Few have survived. A thrilling example.