US Navy Cordite or Cartridge Bucket Dated 1904

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DATED 1904



Presented is a rare leather
bucket from the Washington Navy Yard that was used to carry bagged propellant charges or cartridges and cordite. Cordite is
a round noodle or cord shaped, slow burning propellant that was used, in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, for firing
shells of all sizes. The bucket is made of cork, covered by leather on the outside and by canvas in the inside. All the
hardware is made of bronze which is a non-sparking metal making them flash proof. The charges were carried in these reusable
containers from the ship’s magazines or ammunition lockers to the guns.

There are numerous
examples of similar buckets with the British Royal shield added for appearance that are readily available from a few hundred
dollars to thousands. Most are clearly reproductions so be wary. 

This is the only
example of a U.S. Navy cordite or cartridge bucket that we have seen.
The exterior has the number 3 stenciled on its front and is stamped
Navy Yard Washington 1904 on three lines. There are no other marks.



Inside of bucket showing the bronze cover and cloth lining
Inside of bucket showing bronze cover, cloth lining and leather bottom        



in New England in the ordinary course of business at a maritime auction with no known provenance.


Diameter 8 1/2″
Height with handle 14″
Weight: 5 pounds 8 oz.

The leather bottom is stamped Navy Yard Washington, DC on three lines
bottom is stamped Navy Yard Washington 1904 on three lines

SHOWN at the left is a typical, so called,
British Royal Navy Ammunition or Cordite bucket: In the US, t
hese buckets sell in price from a few hundred
dollars to over $3000.00. Almost all have a Royal Service Armorial shield added to add to their sales appeal. And, very few
are the real thing. They are so ubiquitous, as to be boring.


Shown with the cover open
            Shown with the
sliding bronze cover open
CONDITION: The bucket only has
normal abrasions, scrapes and other minor marks of age mainly around its rim and on its handle. The bronze has a
natural greenish brown patina. There ar eno breaks in the stitching which is tight.
The Washinton Navy Yard in 1900
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