Woodlands Burlwood Bowl, ca. 1800
This bowl has been in my family since I can remember. I believe it belonged to my great-great-grandfather and great-great-grandmother. They were born in Ontario and came down from Ontario into Iowa, and then into Nebraska. And I believe this came on the wagon train with them. They kneaded bread in it, and they bathed the babies in it, and they used it for most everything. Its job today is to sit on my dining room table with silk flowers in it.
Okay, well, I'm really glad you brought this bowl in. My brother and I, my twin brother and I, collected burl bowls, which is what this is, is burl wood. And this is made of ash. And the burl wood is tightly grained. And you can see those knots in there, which we can see, almost like a bird's eye, we call it, design. And it's intertwined, so it's almost impossible to damage. And even these chips here are natural.
Oh, are they?
And they left these, by the way, these imperfections, on purpose. This bowl was made by the Woodland Indian tribes.
Which stretched from the Atlantic all the way to the Great Lakes. To the Native Americans, bowls like these, and the burls in a tree, were kind of a symbol, as these vessels are, of fertility. And so they had a sacred meaning to the Native Americans. But this bowl, based on the wear patterns and the shape and the fact that it's made by the Native Americans, not the colonists, who would have turned it on a lathe. This was actually hand scraped. First, they would put them in the fire and burn the inside, let that cool, scrape the charcoal, and do it over and over. And this is around 1780, 1800, this bowl. The great thing about your bowl is this red pigment on here is usually gone, because it gets refinished. This would have been originally all red. Bowls like these are really prized. I would put an auction estimate on this bowl at $8,000...
So you have quite a bowl here.
We really do, we really do. And I knew it was special, but I didn't know it was worth money as well.
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