This is one of the largest, hand carved dough bowls / trenchers I have ever seen. As shown in the photographs provided, the bowl itself measures 56.5 inches in length from left to right. The bowl measures 19.5 inches when measuring across in width. The depth of the bowl is just a little over 10 inches in depth. The bowl itself is in incredible shape considering it's age and decades of use. It does have one crack, as many of them do over time, and it is located up on the outer edge lip close to the portion that would be used as the handle. In my opinion, this just adds personal character to the bowl, and shows it's true age. When looking on the bottom you can see the actual carved bladed "strokes" made in the wood that formed the rounding of the bottom of the bowl. Is just truly an amazing piece of hand-made antique craftmanship. Very seldom are ones even close to this size still found, as most over time broke due to their length.
Was acquired from a gentleman who lived in Cumberland County Kentucky. According to him, it had been through six different generations of women in their family. All of the family lived in the mountainous rugged terrain region close to the Cumberland River. Other information obtained from the man from whom I purchased it from, was that it the family always said the bowl itself was actually made in Snow Hill, Worcester Co., MD. by their ancestors around the very late 1780's, and then when most of the family relocated to Kentucky in the early 1820's the bowl came with them, and has been around the same area in Cumberland County Kentucky ever since.
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This is quite a trencher! However, I question the age and doubt it is from the late 18th/early 19th century as you've been told. My reasoning for this is because the rim still looks quite crisp and if it were really 200+ years old, it should be much more worn. Late 19th Century (1875 or later) is probably more accurate.
The market for these folky wooden pieces is fairly soft at the moment and its value is in its large size and good condition.
Based on the photos and information provided, and subject to examination, this is:
An American large hand-tooled ash(?) trencher
Probably Cumberland County, KY, Late 19th Century
Of rectangular form with rounded trench
10 inches high, 56 1/2 inches long, 19 1/2 inches deep
PROVENANCE: acquired from a Cumberland County, KY family
*represents a fair-market value for auction purposes; retail or asking price may vary.