Condition: Professional restoration to tail and left proper ear, else very good
Additional Information: J.W. Fiske cast zinc 'Fire Dog' statue, depicting a standing
Labrador retriever with raised tail and wearing a studded collar, the whole resting on a
naturalistic rectangular base with scattered leaves, having later polychrome decoration,
marked 'J.W. Fiske' at the front of the base
Featured is a 3.25-inch oval lozenge with relief bust of George Washington; the bell
features three raised busts of helmeted Roman soldiers. Allover engraving; cast and
applied ornamentation and belting. Overall condition is excellent, some silver thinning
on high spots…limited to busts. (Length: 23.75")
The reverse with touch marks of a pewterer in Geneva
The firefighters training water on a burning building within fabulously engraved
undulating border; the reeded broad rim features oakleaf and acorn border.
(Fine original condition; 16.5” diameter.)
Early forms of emergency communication… although seeing civilian use as alarms for
fire, night watchmen etc. they saw use in Civil War camps, alerting soldiers; also as
battle rattles abord ship to call pike-men to repel borders and to call back boarding
parties. All ratchets and cogs intact. Muffin Bell, circa 1840, often used to sound fire
alarm, sometimes by merchants wanting to attract customers.
Top left: An early example displaying great surface, fine condition (8.5" x 6.5" x 2)
Middle: A clean example in working condition, nicely turned handle (8.25" x 5.75" x 1.5")
Top Right: Scarcely encountered, brass fitted for weight (7 x 4.5 x 1.75")
Bottom right: Muffin bell, turned handle (11.5 x 6 x 4.5")
Reliance was the nation's first successful association of volunteer fire departments,
which beforehand had been independent of one another and often engaged in
inefficient competition, which at times extended to the destruction of rivals' equipment
and the assault of rival firefighters. In addition to underwriting fire insurance, the
association served as mediator between its member engine and hose companies to
resolve the problems of the past. A lasting symbol of the company adopted at the
inception were these fire marks featuring a fireplug with coiling hose and the initials F.A.
• (Balau numbers for “Footprints of Assurance by Alwin Bulow
Left: Raised “F.A” and fire
hydrant, extremely convex,
hollow back, drainage knob; last
mark of this type, issued about 1870. (11" x 7.5")
Middle: Raised “F.A” and fire
hydrant, short end of
hose ending to right center
of hydrant; flat back,
second mark issued by the
company about 1820.
(7.75 by 11 5/8”) Balau 84
Right: Raised “F.A” and fire
hydrant, slightly convex,
hollow back, no drainage
knob, issued in 1863. (11.5" x 7.25")
Considered an early policy, nice graphics featuring the “FA” fireplug and hose.
Great companion piece with “FA” fire mark. This hung in the offices of the Fire
Association of Philadelphia, a.k.a. Reliance Insurance Company.
(Frame: 24" x 21.25"; view: 16.25" x 13.5")
Lead fire mark mounted on wood panel, depicting the Royal Exchange Building, issued
by the Royal Exchange Assurance of Houses and Goods from Loss by Fire. Founded
by royal charter in 1720 and itself ravaged by fire and destroyed in 1838.
(Mount 12.25" x 8"; mark: 8.5" x 4.25")
Lead fire mark, depicting the Royal Exchange Building, issued by the Royal Exchange
Assurance of Houses and Goods from Loss by Fire. Founded by royal charter in 1720
and itself ravaged by fire and destroyed in 1838.
(Length: 8.5"; width: 4.25")
Colorless lead glass; blown, frosted, cut and engraved…probably commemorative, honoring distinguished service. We handled one other example and are familiar with that which is in the Corning Glass Museum Collection. [Accession number: 69.4.1] (Height: 20"; diameter: 8")
Fire buckets such as the depicted having identified historic motifs are scarcely encountered. This example, a leather bucket decorated and identified with "Franklin Fire Society-Charlestown-Protection in Danger", with owners name below...( rt) Tufts; only the last two letters of the first name are visible due to surface losses. Charlestown is painted along the vertical seam on the back. The central device is a large cenotaph or memorial urn with initial "W". This urn motif was used on a variety of medals, ceramics, prints and textiles circa 1800 in the months following Washington's death. The paint is 90% intact, all decoration and lettering is original; minor touch-up to small area on the reverse. The handle is period but may be a replacement; detached at one "D" ring with the other ring being a replacement...easily repaired by or leather restorer or yours. Our supposition is that the bucket was owned by Albert Tufts who was born 17 August, 1804; son of Hutchinson Jr. and Mary Locke Tufts.
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