JOHN S. BLUNT PAINTED LEATHER FIRE BUCKET, THE PROPERTY OF ROBERT NEAL, MECHANIC FIRE SOCIETY, PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE, CIRCA. 1818.

Est. $3,000-$5,000

Sold: $7,680 ($6,400)

According to records of the Mechanic Fire Society, Robert Neal (1780-1852), a cooper living at 11 South St. in Portsmouth, was a member of the Society from 1818-1835. The red-painted bucket depicting an eagle bearing the Cooper’s coat-of-arms and holding ribbons in its beak and talons lettered “MECHANIC FIRE SOCIETY” and “ROBERT NEAL” on the front; the reverse inscribed “No. 2” and “1811.” Height over handle 20 inches. Together with a copy of the Society’s Constitution with list of members and a booklet, “Songs Sung by Members of the Mechanic Fire Society.”

Provenance: Ronald Bourgeault Antiques, Hampton, New Hampshire, 1974.Note: This fire bucket is included in the John Samuel Blunt catalogue raisonne being compiled by Deborah M. Child, Portsmouth Athenaeum.