Thursday, September 20, 2012
The fire bucket stands about 13" tall at the rim and the handle adds another 7" to the height. The diameter is a little over 9". Inside the rim, under the leather covering, is a steam bent oak stave. All original fire buckets had some sort of internal bent wooden rim to add support to the bucket shape. Later in the late 19th c. there were some makers that used an iron rim or heavy iron wire to support the opening.
The method of applying the wooden rim to the exterior of the leather bucket and stitching a leather covering over top is a design feature indicative of 18th century made fire buckets. The other common method which came along around the turn of the 18th to19th c., was to fold the sides of the bucket over the wooden rim. I do not see the folded technique appearing on buckets until around the year 1800. By the 1820's almost all makers had assumed the fold-over method of construction. Why? As you see here in the example above, there is an extra line of stitching needed to preform this older style, thus more work. By cutting the leather of the body longer the maker could then simplyy fold the extra length over the rim and save himself the time of cutting a separate piece of leather as well as omit the need for an extra line of stitching. This new technique as far as I have been able to determine is an American innovation and was never adopted by English or European makers.
It is possible that this bucket was made in Europe for the American market as every construction detail is performed differently from any English or American bucket I have ever examined. I will expand on this bucket in a later blog posting.