In today's era where we have plumbing
available which brings us an almost endless supply of fresh water,
we do not think about the pre-plumbing days when a person had to go
down to the local well or river
and pump the water into a bucket and then carry those heavy buckets of
A gallon of water weighs about 8.3 pounds.
A five gallon bucket would weigh over 41 pounds and two of them would
weigh over 80 pounds.
Then after adding in the weight of the buckets and the yoke, the
carrier is carrying about 100 pounds.
If you don't think that is heavy, go to the gym and try to carry that
If the buckets hold less water, the weight would be proportionately
I have included a ruler and a normal sized tea spoon to help you
visualize the size.
This style of water carrier is mainly from Germany and Holland,
although variations are found in other parts of the world.
Both men and women served as water carriers as we can see from these
The middle spoon is very similar to another spoon I have which is
marked as being made by "HH"
I suspect that it was made in Holland
of 835 silver, mfg. by HH - prob H. Hartman or H. Hooykaas of
Repousse/chased bowl by a talented silversmith
This bowl is typical of the servers from this area. It is packed
with pictures including drunks, musical players, children playing,
dogs, gossiping women etc.
Apparently this scene was quite popular and we find it on other servers
of this type
A discusssion of other close variations of
this spoon bowl may be seen by clicking here
Hand cutouts and chased scene of a woman water carrier on this caddy
During my research I came across some interesting pictures of water
carriers from other countries. These are prints or statues, not spoons.
Nice sculpture by Herb Mignery
Water carriers painting by Constant Troyon
Old print of a water carrier from Egypt. A number of pictures of a
similar nature are available from various parts of Africa
Oriental water carriers
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