This large wine barrel on a stand was once used to store wine in a French vineyard. The oak barrel has multiple iron straps running along the circumference of the barrel, helping it keep its form. The eight iron bands are riveted to the wood and reinforced with a few folded iron brackets. Two wood stretchers also help the barrel maintain its shape. The stretcher in the back is flat with two brass fittings, while the front stretcher is H-shaped and affixed with four mounts. Beneath the H stretcher is a stylized leaf carving attached by a brass bolt that is responsible for keeping the front door secure. The door would be removed for cleaning purposes, while the brass spigot below would have been used to drain the barrel’s contents.
The French have been using wood barrels to transport alcohol for centuries. Most barrels are made of oak, as the wood lends itself well to the aging process of wine, adding various flavors and increasing the body of the wine. Our French oak barrel was constructed circa 1900 by a craftsman known as a “tonnelier”, whose main function was to create and repair the vineyard’s wine casks.
The barrel sits securely in a wooden stand, allowing it to be the perfect decoration piece for a restaurant or bar area.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with wear commensurate to age and use, including light oxidation to iron straps. Discoloration and minor staining to wood from where the iron straps used to wrap around barrel as the wood swelled/receded. The stand is more recent with age separations and minor nicks.