Miniature Painted Treen Keeler with Hearts.
And a Surprise.
Probably New England, ca. early 19th century. Cooper-made staved tiny keeler with pierced stylized hearts in the handles. Inside retains a dry oyster-white paint, likely indicating a dairy usage. The exterior in a buff paint, over-varnished with a pigmented resin, with split-saplings in black. The tops of the staves (and bottoms) are decoratively scallop carved. Very small size of just 3 1/2 inches to the top of the "bowl", 5 to the top of the handles, and about 4 3/4 inch diameter. Given the pierced stylized hearts one can speculate that it was made as a love token, and perhaps used to cool small portions of milk or cheese. Surprisingly, a hollow within the base is filled with seeds or beans that make a loud sound when shaken, i.e., a rattle! The purpose of the rattle is unknown.