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The Green Tree: Highlights from the Collection of the Mutual Assurance Company of Philadelphia - April 2007
 
 
painting
 
Unknown Maker

Pair of Relief Fire Company Buckets, c. 1790
Leather, 12 1/2 × 8 inches
References: Garvan and Wojtowicz 1977, 115, illus.
RS 6312


Each of the red fire buckets in this matched pair is decorated with a painted image of a burning three-story brick corner building. The prominent white banner that runs across the top bears the name John Cook & Co., a business founded in Philadelphia in 1810 that dealt in paper hangings and imported playing cards. The word “Relief” below alludes to the Relief Fire Company which was founded in Philadelphia in 1791. The company’s name is derived from the location of its engine house on Relief Alley near Second Street. The buckets were probably owned by Cook, who must have been a member of the Relief Fire Company; they were purchased from his descendants in 1957. An identical pair of buckets, bearing the name Robert Evans, is owned by the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

  


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