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 water home.

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 weight around.
If the buckets hold less water, the weight would be proportionately smaller.

water carrier servers
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 pictures.

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 Schoonhaven 

spoon dutch house scene

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

water carrier caddy spoon
Hand cutouts and chased scene of a woman water carrier on this caddy spoon

During my research I came across some interesting pictures of water carriers from other countries. These are prints or statues, not spoons.

water carrier sculpture
Nice sculpture by Herb Mignery

water carrier
Water carriers painting by Constant Troyon

water carrier
Old print of a water carrier from Egypt. A number of pictures of a similar nature are available from various parts of Africa

water carrier
Oriental water carriers

Return to spoon exhibits index