This large, teardrop-shaped pair of fire bellows dates from the 1890's. Made of pine that's developed a handsome patina, its worn surfaces are so appealing. The cone-shaped sheet iron nozzle was formed with a soldered seam at the back. The tan leather strip above it is attached with iron nails with different size heads that have all darkened in place and stained the leather around them, a process that takes many years. The leather strip helps to hold the boards together and the nozzle is attached to it with more of the nails.
The tan leather air bladder between the boards, while missing surface bits and having some cracking but no holes, is still flexible and does its job to push air through. The bottom board, as usual, was left flat so when hung, it remains flush to the wall. The single hole in the back board intakes air when the handles are drawn apart, as well as allowing the bellows to be hung on a nail. The piece still puts out a surprising amount of air, so it's useful as well as decorative.
On the back of the bellows is a triangular paper label, torn but surviving after all this time. The black printing reads "No. 102 HAND BELLOWS 10 inches" with a five pointed star at one corner. The "10 inches" refers to the width at the widest point, since the bellows are 19 inches long. With a weight of about 1 3/4 pounds, this excellent primitive is easily hung in most places.