Pewter Tankard or Flagon
Channe - Pichet a Vin
This large early 19th Century Tankard comes from the Swiss Valais and is of the type known in German as a "Bauchkanne" or Belly Tankard for its rotund form. The double rams heads on the lever to lift the lid are also typical of the valais.
The work bears the master's mark of Joseph Castel (active between 1801 and 1821 in Sion - Sitten, Switzeralnd). Castel's stamp with its distinctive castle tower motif can be seen on the lid. The lid also features the inventory number LXXV. (See last photo)
Condition: This is a Tankard which saw the real life of an old Swiss guest house (Gasthofe) in its day. The lip of the lid and base have been lightly deformed through use (could be straighted if desired, but it is quite charming as is) and there are a number of dings and scratches. the object remains highly attractive, perhaps even more so for its use, and would lend a period atmosphere to any room.
Dimensions: Approximately 12.5 inches hight (32 cm) to the top of the ram's head handle.
Petwer wine pitchers, known in french-speaking Switzerland as Pichet a Vin or "channes" have been part of traditional kitchen wares since at least the 15th Century. The German term for these wine vessels is Kanne or Zinn (pewter) Kanne.
Swiss Tankards come in a wide variety of shapes, and the form often signifies the regional original of the vessel. This Channe is typical of the Valais region.
The cover of the Channe is built to open with a touch of the thumbpiece known in French as the "poucier." (from the french word pouce, or thumb).
In the Valais, this lever is usually decorated on either side with either two acorns, two fruits, or two ram's heads (as shown here)
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