This Gourd Canteen I made back in 2001. It has no cracks and has never been used. The cork is made from yucca and has a leather cord tied to it so you don't loose it. The basket and strap holding the gourd is made of Elk hide that was commercially tanned. The patterns are burnt into the gourd. They will stay and last.
Roughly 12.25" tall without cork by 6.5" at widest point. Top neck is about 2.5" wide. Opening has almost 1.25" diameter
The gourd inside is not lined with wax or anything. Each gourd has a different flavor. Some are strong while others are very mild. With use it usually gets less strong, but will probably always have a slight gourd taste to it. Some gourds can have a bitter flavor. I try to counter act this with adding mint leaves, lemon or any other strong flavor to help get rid of the bitter taste. One last thing is that some gourds innards are hard to get out. For a while during use you may get a few gourd inside chunks come out while drinking. Just drink slow. Once the gourd has been used and gotten through it's first stages of pain, the gourd will be your best canteen. I love them and won't hike with anything else.
This can be used for carrying water which keeps the water nice and cool. Here in the Desert it never gets more than lukewarm even when sitting in direct sunlight for hours. If used then be careful. These are fragile and can break very easy, especially when full of water. It takes a special way to carry one when hiking making sure it does not swing down and bang on things (I've broken many even when paying attention on hikes). The straps hold very well for a long time, but there will come a time when they stretch out from getting wet and dry so much. They then loosen and may need to be adjusted or re tightened. Also from getting wet and dry a lot at some point the leather may break. That's just part of it. Just make sure it it seams like it's getting old then it's time to replace the cords.
Over time the gourd can start to crack. This is normal from all the usage and expanding and drying that goes on between uses. I've seen them crack at the top edge, the bottom and on some shapes in the middle. I say use it till it breaks. I do.
I hope all this does not scare you for the price and it's fragility. Just a word of caution to treat it with love. It takes time to make these with decoration on them and every one is built with lots of love. If in the end you decide to just have it for show, that works too. Just be happy with it. :) Welcome to the primitive live style.