Late 18th early 19th c. Painted Cheesebox Canteen
Late 18th early 19th c. Painted Cheesebox Canteen. This canteen is a a militia style dark blue and red paint over an earlier light blue milk paint. It also appears to have 18th c. nails used in its construction. This design was very popular in New England. This canteen is in very sturdy condition and it is possible that it could still hold water. It is likely a very late 18th c. model painted over in the period of 1812-1820 by a militiaman. Militia companies would paint therir canteens in matching patterns to distinguish themselves and at least one more of the this color and cartouche design is in a private collection and sold at auction about 10 years ago. This specimen has a 6 pointed star and the appearance of some lettering in the different layers of paint. A very faint R or K and possibly an I can be made out. Abbreviations on canteens often stand for a towns light infantry company and the Kentish Light Infantry served in War of 1812 from Rhode Island. KLI has been seen on at least one period canteen. While some cheesebox canteens were used in the Revolution, most were used after with the height of use being in the War of 1812. The only certainty is that this piece saw many different iterations throughout its years of service. 7 in. x 2 in.
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