'Tique Talk ~ About Antique Collecting ~ by Marianne Dow

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Perfect Portable Pantry for Camping Chuckwagon Cooks ~ Antique Tin Food Storage and Dispensers

Love this counter top metal tole painted cabinet, with the colorful birds and flowers. There is a great gear-y clock work in the center. You can barely make out the words PERFECT PANTRY stenciled on the bin front. Click the pic to enlarge it.

I pictured this pantry (here) when I was sharing some photos I took at an antique mall. Having a camera with me all the time has turned into a way to enhance my antiques-looking-fix. No way can I sanely buy everything that I think is cool, but I can enjoy the photos, and sorta feel like I have the item. And since pix taking is free, I don't put the hurt on the ol' wallet.

Today I received emails from two separate people saying they saw my photo of the tin Perfect Pantry, and asking me if I knew the value. Weird, huh? Two in one day.

Anywho, a quick google didn't turn up any value info, but I did find this 1905 san Antonio Gazette newspaper archive that mentions the Perfect Pantry Company of St. Louis Missouri -- link.

Also found a similar metal pantry listed on ebay. repainted and yucky, so that sale will not tell us value. But it does picture the clock that's missing from ''my'' pantry, and the clock is marked Perfect Pantry Co. St Louis MO. -- (ebay listing link).

The ebay seller did give me another clue, saying these type of pantry dispensers were considered portable and used in chuckwagons.

So that search led me to a wide variety of portable pantry cabinets by many different companies, and to some interesting Western Cowboy history sites. I also found a completed auction price on a similar piece, but that doesn't mean that's the value today. I found a few pantrys listed on antiques dealer websites, and prices are all over the place. So I am not giving out any valuation here. Just going to share some pix and links of what I found.

This one was shared on Collectors Weekly (here), where the owner said: "I collect old west memorabilia and found this in St. Louis Mo. area. It is actually a portable pantry and was used on the back of a wagon. I also have documentation that it was used in all the Disney western movies in the 80s."

Calendar Clock Safe - this one sold for $1300 (here).

This one was pictured on the Round Top Antiques Show site - no value.

Folks making Western movies and TV shows, and anyone interested in reenacting authentic Western trail life, want vintage ''period'' items, much like Civil war reenactors do. There are plenty of cowboy lifestyle & supplies websites, and they seem to ask a hefty price for these portable pantries. But they will certainly make your chuckwagon look like the real deal.

"By the late 1880s, the westward expansion of the railroads, which could transport live cattle, put an end to the trail drives. The era of the chuck wagon came to a close. Some of the old wagons have survived and been lovingly restored by enthusiasts who have sparked a revival of interest in this venerated style of cooking. Every year, modern-day cowboys travel around Texas to attend chuck wagon rallies and cook-offs, where they prepare the kind of dishes that sustained their forebears out on the range." -- Chuck Wagon Cooking

Read more Chuckwagon History here.

This site is asking $3500 for theirs -- http://www.cowboycooking.com/antiques.html

Ms. Dow Antiques Blog 'Tique Talk is published by msdowantiques.com
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