English Carved and Gilt Wood Sign, Phoenix Rising from the Ashes, 1890-1900. Symbol for the Phoenix Assurance Insurance Company. Wonderful carving detail, 42" long x 30" high.
According to Greek mythology the fabulous Phoenix was a magnificent bird, as large as an eagle with brilliant scarlet and gold plumage. Making its home near a cool well, it would appear each morning at dawn and sing a song so enchanting that even the great Sun God Apollo would stop to listen. At the end of its 500-year life, the Phoenix built a pyre nest of aromatic branches and spices, set the nest on fire, and was consumed by the flames. After three days, the reborn bird rose from the ashes. Other legends have the phoenix rising from the midst of the flames, a symbolic representation of the death and rebirth of the sun each day.