Merchant's Coin Barrel

c. 1800
H: 11.0" Dia: 11.0"
Northern Elmwood
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This early 19th century Chinese merchant's coin barrel is made from slats of wood strapped together with hand-wrought iron rings. Its form suggests it was originally intended for other uses, but an enterprising merchant saw its potential and carved a coin slot into the lid. With half of its top fixed and half removable, he was able to easily access his profits at home, while keeping others out in the marketplace. The vessel has developed wonderful texture from hundreds of years of use, and makes a unique side table today.

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