Sir John Evans Centenary Project - image background is marbled paper from one of John Evans's books John Evans Numismatic Society Medal 1899

Sir John Evans's Collections of Artefacts


Anglo-Saxon Decorated Bucket

Country of Origin: Britain

Description: The copper alloy mounts have been reconstructed on a replica bucket. The handle escutcheons have terminals at the bottom which end in birds' heads, each with a D-shaped moulding at the neck, a rounded head with a punched eye, and a long curving beak. The handle and the bands are made from plain strips of sheet metal.

Dimensions: 15cm diameter

Object Period: Anglo-Saxon

Provenance: Haslingfield, Cambridgeshire

Museum Accession No.: AN1909.305

Aquisition History: Excavated from an Anglo-Saxon cemetery in 1875. Acquired by Sir John Evans and presented to the Ashmolean by Sir Arthur Evans in 1909.

Other Information: Buckets of this type are rare and their function is not clear. The fact that some have elaborately decorated bindings suggests that they were status-symbols rather than every-day household equipment. Furthermore they are mostly found in well-equipped graves of both men and women. Similar mounts have been recovered from contexts dating from the fifth to seventh centuries. This is one of several objects in the John Evans' collection from this site, including a glass spindle whorl (AN1909.224) and a cruciform brooch (AN1909.239i) (Both these objects can be viewed on this website).

Further References / Links:

A. MacGregor and E. Bolick, Ashmolean museum: Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non- Ferrous Metals) (Oxford, 1993) BAR, British Series 230, no. 50.10.

For further information and reading see the website Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Buckets ( which includes a database of the archive of Jean M. Cook and literature references.