Period: Late Eighteenth / Early Nineteenth Century
Top Diameter: 10.5 inches
Height: 11.5 inches
The black-japanned leather fire bucket painted externally in gilt with sun in splendour heraldic crest and bone to the interior, later leather swing handle and iron studwork to base and rim.
Condition is fine, there is some wear in places to the japanning but this is entirely consummate with age. The gilt paintwork is in good order and the iron studwork is all present.
The sun in splendour luminary is usually borne in his glory, or splendour, that is to say, with a human countenance and depicted with rays, usually sixteen or more (twenty four in this case), alternately straight and waves, representing the light and heat of the sun respectively.
It is a common charge in the heraldry of many countries and was used as a badge by Edward II of England, and was later adopted by Edward IV following the appearance of a parhelion or "sun dog" before his victory at the Battle of Mortimer's Cross in 1461. It also had significance in alchemy, and has been suggested as being a visual image of the Roman deity Sol Invictus. This crest is a heraldic device that was common to many families as opposed to the more specific coats of arms, so it would be difficult to say to whom this charge applied.
A familiar object found in English country houses to this day; this bucket is a survival of the days when open fires were in every room and house fires occurred only too often. We think it too charming to fill with sand; now serving as an undeniably decorative delight.