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19thC Pennsylvania Copper Grain Bag Stencil

19th C Pennsylvania Copper Grain Bag Stencil

19th C Pennsylvania Copper Grain Bag Stencil

During the 18th and early to mid 19thC it was common practice for a farmer to drop a large home woven bag off at the grain mill for re-fill with grain.  So that his bag would not be confused with others that may also be awaiting a refill, he would mark his bag in a definitive way which became the way for the miller to tell his apart from the others: either by stamping his name or a symbol with a carved wooden-block, inking his name on a bag with a cut stencil, having his wife embroider his name or initials, or simply signing the bag in ink. The carved symbolic bag stamps can be very elaborate and command high prices at auction.

This is an example of a mid 19thC  cut tin stencil used for such a process.  This thin tin piece measures 15 ½ inches wide by 2 ½ inches high and was purchased in Lancaster County, PA.  It has developed a nice patina over time attendant with the various and sundry inks used in the bag marking process.  In this case, this simple one belonged to “C. E. Birdsall”.

This grain bag stencil is a remnant of a farm culture that recognized the time and toil it took to make textiles, even the lowly ones such as a tow grain bag.  It is an essential, yet humble,  piece to add  to a collection of homespun culture.

Price: SOLD

The items featured here are a small sampling of our inventory. If you are looking for a particular item, it may be in the shop so don't hesitate to contact me. Also, do check the photos under the "Shop & Shows" feature page, as you may spot an item in one of them that speaks to your collecting sensibility.

Also, don't hesitate to ask for more photos of a piece..Or ask as many questions as you like about it.

Terms and Conditions of Sale:

Personal checks, money orders, cashiers checks. Personal checks require a 7 business day bank clearance period. Unless prior arrangements have been made, payment must be received within 7 days or item will be re-offered for sale.

I guarantee all items to be as described. I try to be as thorough and meticulous in my descriptions as possible, and will gladly send additional photos as well as answer any questions about a piece in order to avoid return of merchandise.

In the event there is a discrepancy with respect to an item's representation, I must be notified within 48 hours of receipt of the piece. Upon notification, and my approval, the item must be returned within 7 days in the condition it was received in order to receive a refund less shipping and insurance.

Pennsylvania residents must pay 6% sales tax unless they possess a valid resale number.

Shipping and Handling:
Purchaser is responsible for all shipping, handling and insurance costs. I ship via the best and lowest priced carrier for the piece. Pickup of items at The Black Angus in Adamstown, Pennsylvania is a possibility depending on circumstances.

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