Charles Gardiner, Antiques
Shaker? Tin Pap Pot

7 inches tall and 7 inches in diameter at the base, tapering to 5 inches at the rim, this is a pap pot, tin, possibly Shaker-made, certainly 19th century. It is a jacketed pot: hot water in the jacket would keep the pap warm, and since the inner chamber holds 3 pints, it would need to be kept warm. The spout is lead, and would have been wrapped in cloth, tied, and the pap sucked through it.

The hole in the spout, however, is 3/16 inch in diameter, and the lead nipple itself just shy of an inch across... both far too large for this to be an infant feeder. Evidently it was intended to be used in the care of adult invalids.

Most Shaker attributions are tenuous, at best. The reasoning for this piece is that Shaker communities were known for taking good care of their members for as long as they lived. Several had documented "dispensaries" where elderly members lived once unable to care for themselves and take part in community activities. The design of the gusseted handle is also typical of, although hardly unique to, Shaker tinware. And note that the lead "nipple" is not round; it has been shaped to better fit in the mouth as the pot is held up to the patient. Such awareness and intention of design is certainly a familiar Shaker attribute.

Offered as-is and as-found: Both the jacket cork and the string on the spout were there when I found the pot. The top is missing, and there are a number of pinholes (most on the bottom of the pot), dents on each side, and perhaps some re-soldered joints. Never decorated (nor would Shaker tin be apt to have been decorated), this remains an extraordinarily rare and unusual object.

$ 250.00


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