The bucket is made of leather parts stitched together and has a handle of plant fiber rope (likely hemp) covered in leather. The handle is attached with two ferrous metal rings at the top of the bucket. The interior is black and may have been painted or coated with tar for waterproofing, and...
The bucket is made of leather parts stitched together and has a handle of plant fiber rope (likely hemp) covered in leather. The handle is attached with two ferrous metal rings at the top of the bucket. The interior is black and may have been painted or coated with tar for waterproofing, and the exterior is painted. The painted decoration is divided in half on the vertical (front and back). The ground color of the front half is yellowish green and the back has a reddish brown ground. The handle, interior, and the top and bottom rims are black. On the front, there is an elaborate decorative scheme. including an eagle with spread wings at the top, carrying a banner in its beak with the owner's name painted thereon. Beneath the banner there is a circle encapsulating a sailing ship (viewed from behind) with the American flag flying on the stern. Below the circle are two pieces of foliage with intersecting stems at the bottom that follow the exterior curvature of the circle to just above the midpoint. At the very bottom is another banner with a motto or lettering that is largely indecipherable due to paint loss. The reverse is inscribed with the date and the number of the bucket.
On front: "Benjamin Damrell" [prevously catalogued as "Damrett"] on banner held in eagle's mouth On front: "A [illegible] L O [and possibly second word, also effaced] " on banner near bottom On back: "No. 2 / 1813"
History of ownership: presumably made originally for Benjamin Damrell (1771-ca. 1821)of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as one of at least two buckets he acquired when he joined the Alert Fire Society of Portsmouth, founded in 1813; 1929, lent by J. Templeman Coolidge, of Boston and Portsmouth, February 27, 1929; 1932, gift of J. Templeman Coolidge (Accession Date July 21, 1932)
Gift of John Templeman Coolidge