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A Sunderland lustre milk jug commemorating the battle between USS CONSTITUTION and the British ship HMS JAVA in late December 1812. The War of 1812 between the USA and Britain was a short-lived affair and peace was declared in April 1813. The USS CONSTITUTION is the world's oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat and is moored at the former Charlestown Naval yards in Boston. During the 1812 War, she defeated five British ships and gained her nickname "OLD IRONSIDES" after the battle she had against HMS GUERRIERE. Her commander during the battle against HMS JAVA was William Bainbridge who became one of the longest and more illustrious USA naval officers.

Sunderland lustreware was produced during the first half of the nineteenth century. Its distinguishing character is the purple/pink lustre of the decoration, developed in the Staffordshire potteries of Wedgewood. Most of the items were at the cheaper end of the pottery market and some featured sentimental and religious homilies as well as commemorative images applied by way of transfers, initially in black and white and later with the addition of hand-colour. This milk jug has two transfers. One is a portrait of Bainbridge and the other is a scene illustrating the battle between the two ships within a decorative border with a banner inscribed "CONSTITUTION" AND THE "JAVA" 1797. The date 1797 is the year the CONSTITUTION was launched. Almost certainly made for the American market.

Undated but likely to be around 1815.

Rare. No other examples found in public or private collections.

No makers mark.

Height 135mm.

No faults.


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