The bucket is one of just three examples found in England. Others have also been found in Turkey, Italy and Spain. The details of manufacture and the style of both the decoration and inscription, suggest that all of them were made in workshops in Antioch, Syria in the 6th century AD.
The decorative frieze depicts three naked warriors armed with spears, shields, swords and a discus, fighting a leopard and a mythical beast, or bear.
The inscription running around the top of the vessel is in ancient Greek and translates as ‘Use this, lady, for many happy years’.