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What are the odds?
Molly's link (nice find Molly!) states it is "hand forged" however one can see in your pictures the lines or striations where the brass has been spun, a machine process... The bail appears to have been hand forged.
Well, I looked at the Russian alphabet and found all of the characters I believe I am looking at on your piece. I don't know how to use a translator or decipher the word, though. Maybe it says No. 5 underneath? At first glance it looks like some sort of water vessel but it is so small and with no lid? Then, with the heavy duty handle it appears it may have held something much heavier? Maybe it was used in a campfire for cooking/heating?
That is my "thinking out loud" for the moment. :)
Is the inside a flat-black color? I can't see it in any of the pics. If so (and it should be) that is a tin lining. Brass and copper pots like yours were hung over campfires for cooking. Yours looks like a 1 or 2 liter pot (about 2 quarts). The tin lining prevents chemical reaction from the brass/copper to the food or liquid when heated.
The lines on the side indicate the metal was spun when manufactured. This process came into being in the late 1800s, but continues to date.
The language appears to be Cyrillic, used by Russia, Serbia, Poland, Siberia, Greece, Mongolia and several other Northeastern European countries. Google, cyrillic alphabet. when it opens click "Images". If you rub a pinch of flour into the letters they will stand out so you can read them.
The link I provided you above has the EXACT same piece.
Wow thanks!! You're right, it's identical! How did you find that?
I just did my usual "what are the best terms to use to search for this item" technique...it just popped up! That's why I said, "What are the odds?"
It certainly looks like cyrillic, but the only thing I notice odd about it is that Cyrillic doesn't have a letter R like in English, theirs is a reversed R to ours.
Why would it be written that way? I don't know much about the history of the Cyrillic alphbet, I don't recall when the Latin R was ever part of it.