A friend and fellow antiques dealer was expressing to me just the other day his enamourment with smoke decorated objects; I must admit I'd never paid super close attention, but then came across this tin and I must say I'm smitten. Smoke decorating, or smoke painting, became popular in the late 18th century and was used well into the 19th, done by manipulating a sooty candle over the surface of a newly painted object, still wet, to produce various effects, sometimes augmented by smudging. The paint on this lidded, handled tin is a mustardy cream, and the smoke effect a charcoal gray. The effect is so visceral--you can see exactly how the flame travelled in real time; where it was brought closest to the paint and then trailed away--which, for me, has the effect of making the presence maker so palpable it's as if they are right here. Which of course is so much what's it's all about for me. I also really like that smoke decoration was used to animate the surface of this particular tin, which seems to me just the right sort of vessel in which to empty the soot from a wood burning fireplace!
9" t x 8 3/8" across at handles x 6 3/8" d the other way. Good antique condition, clean inside, lid comes off easily and closes tight and flush. A little paint loss here and there just where there should be, and a bit of a ding/bend to one handle, minor and no real matter.