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    George Washington: Very Rare 1800-Dated Leather Fire Bucket. The principal hand-painted decoration is a funerary urn with a large "W" on the side, resting on a pedestal marked "1800". Above is the slogan "Protection in Danger," while on either side are "No." and "2," which doubtless references the fire brigade's unit number. On a streamer below is the name of the fireman who used it. The last name "Thompson" is clear, while the first name, which appears to be "Jeremiah," has partially eroded over the years. Washington died in December of 1799, so the vast majority of such memorial items were produced in and often dated 1800. The urn, often bearing Washington's initial or initials, is one of the most commonly seen devices on GW memorial items. However, this is the first time we have ever encountered a Washington memorial fire bucket of this type. Patriotic motifs are not uncommon on early American firemen's hats and buckets, but they typically date somewhat later, around the 1820s - 1830s; we have seen several examples with Washington themes which more likely date from the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1832. This is the earliest dated example we have encountered, and a wonderful, colorful contemporary display piece for the first president. Condition is basically very nice for the type. Although the paint has eroded and chipped in places, as one would expect given the hard use these buckets received, this occurs mainly toward the bottom. The central design is amazingly well preserved, and the overall display presence, with its rich patina of age and use, is very pleasing to the eye. The original integral leather handle has broken off at the top rim, to all appearances long ago, and is now absent. Height 12.5", diameter 8.5".

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2010
    22nd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,717

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