Bluegrass Area Hide Covered Box
Deer Hide, wood, brass, wrought iron, newsprint, and tanned leather
6 ¾” x 15” x 9”
This intriguing box evidently owned by William M’Millan of Clark County, Kentucky as evidenced by signature in brown ink on underside of bottom. M’Millan is often mentioned in the Kentucky Gazette beginning in 1792 as an Indian fighter through the war of 1812 where he served as Lt. Colonel recruiting at Lexington and Covington. He also was a state legislator as early as 1809, serving Clark County, Kentucky. M’Millan was listed on the federal census from 1800 (spelling variant) through 1820 in Clark County.
The brass hasp for the lock is marked “WL” signifying the lock maker and likely other hardware appointments (most notably, the bail and rosette handle atop the lid). The bail handle and the decorative hasp certainly the work of a provincial smithy not a specialty manufacturer. Nails are hand wrought. The box in a very good state of preservation having the interior lined with dated May 17th, 1815 Lexington, Kentucky newsprint. Loss to the leather banding on either side being the most significant issues. Circa 1800-1810, Central Kentucky origin.