A French 'pichet en bois' (wooden pitcher), this jug was made in the time-honored tradition of the coopers who have made barrels and casks for centuries. The steam-curved staves are made of oak harvested in France, known for the subtle, rather than astringent, flavors it imparts to wine and beer. They are bound together with hand hammered copper hoops and copper rivets. The wooden handle is sheathed in copper, as is the parrot's-beak spout. The pitcher measures 10 1/2 inches tall, 5 inches wide across the belly and weighs about 1 1/2 pounds.
Both the oak and the copper are in very good condition, with the hand-cut copper having developed a darkened patina, as have the wood staves. There is one tiny copper rivet missing from the bottom hoop; the pitcher overall is attractively aged. We recommend that it be used for display rather than to hold beverages, since we don't know what has been stored in it (it does smell faintly inside of red wine, however). The bottom of the pitcher retains the original labels which read:
Through our research we understand that the LC stands for Leon Couillard, a cooper in Trouville, Normandy. We're estimating that it was made in the 1930's; given that the label states "MADE IN" instead of just "FRANCE" it was made after 1921. Labels on these wine/ale pitchers tended to disappear with use, so they are not commonly found. It's a wonderful accent for French country décor and a handsome display for your wine cellar, kitchen or bar.
NOTE: The framed paint by number still life in our photos is listed here: