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barrel bolt

Wine barrels of a certain volume (approx. 1,000 l or more) have an opening cut into the bottom of the barrel through which a person can get inside to clean it. These “doors” are secured with the barrel latch when the barrel is full. In the 18th and 19th centuries were special cooper from the palatinate famous for their carved barrel bars. Figures from mythology such as lion, dragon or mermaid were often depicted, as well as hearty, erotic motifs. See also under Customs in viticulture and barrel,

Barrel latch - mermaid
Image: Eye-catcher in the old days

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