In this still-life composition, John Frederick Peto offers up a variety of household goods in somber tones. Some of the items-- a canteen, a bugle, a pistol, a powder horn-- suggest the Civil War, already a few decades past at the time the painting was made. Also visible are more ambiguous objects: a blue book, an artist’s palette, a picture tacked to the wall. Peto’s father did serve in the Civil War, and it is possible that some of these relics were his; the palette and small picture seem to reflect the younger Peto’s direction in life. The objects all show wear or damage; even the door on which the items hang has been patched and still has a broken hinge. Many of these specific props recur in other of the artist’s works. Unlike showier still-life paintings which offer a careful display of gleaming housewares or tempting food, Peto’s weathered subjects hung carelessly from a nail seem to tell a story of a life gone by.