The weather in Helmsdale: 13°C / Light rain

We are open for the 2022 season! Monday - Sunday 1000 - 1700.
Advanced booking for museum visits is advised. Please ding 01431821327 | to book your slot

Cooper Made Flask and Goblet

The flask and goblet were made using the same woodworking skills that were used to make herring barrels.

Once an apprentice cooper had demonstrated his skills in these items he was allowed to construct herring barrels for storing the fish.

The flask and goblet were made around 1880 by a cooper at the end of his apprenticeship. He had to produce an apprentice piece which was to the satisfaction of his master. Twelve wooden staves were used to make the flask while the goblet was made using fourteen. Brass rings around the outside of these pieces were used to hold the staves together.

A cooper had to be a very skilful woodworker and be able to make a barrel or cask without using a gauge or rule. If a barrel had a leak the herring pickle solution or brine that was used to preserve the herring, escaped and so the fish would be spoiled.