Indian Made Canvas Bucket

A couple of canvas buckets have been covered on the blog over the years, tonight however we have an Indian made example with a rather unusual feature. Just to recap, canvas buckets were used extensively in the British Empire for carrying water etc. as they were light, could be stowed flat and were virtually unbreakable. Once soaked the fibres in the canvas swelled making the bucket pretty water tight. They were made all over the Empire for civilian and military use, and this example comes from India:imageWe can tell that it is Indian because it is marked ‘Ca’ for the  Government Harness and Saddlery Works at Cawnpore:imageIt is also dated 1929. What makes this bucket particularly interesting however is that the carrying handle is clearly a repurposed piece of Lee Enfield rifle sling:imageThis has been stitched on neatly and there is no sign of an earlier rope handle having been fitted:imageThis leads me to suspect that it was made like this from new, the factory using up sling material it had on hand. This could either have been offcuts from the main rifle sling manufacture, or slings where the metal buckles had become worn out, the main body of the sling however recycled into bucket handles. Either way it is a fascinating example of military repurposing and this bucket is a lovely addition to my Indian collection.

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