Cheesebox construction with early style rosehead nails.
Circa 1800 Blue Painted Militia Canteen. Smaller than that normally encountered, this canteen is a 5 1/4 inch diameter. Very tiny nails, like those seen to hold the plugs in powder horns of this era, were used to hold the hoop section to the sides, then larger rosehead nails were applied along the edge and three inches back to hold the top loop down in place. Rosehead nails use on anything American usually indicates 18th Century construction and certainly not much beyond the 1800. By this time cut nails made in bulk replaced the hand mail roseheads.
The color is a light blue, and was the only color on this canteen. The leather strap guides have broken away, leaving only the nails at three points. Typical wear, minor age cracks.
No history with this canteen unfortunately, just a sweet example.