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GREAT AUSTRALIA

Date: c 1860
Dimensions:
120 x 110 x 65 mm
Medium: Ceramic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Jug
Object No: 00039545

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    Description
    This small earthenware jug is decorated with a black transfer print of the clipper ship GREAT AUSTRALIA and a printed poem inside a floral border. Ceramic ware such as this was often produced to commemorate the launch or loss of a ship. This jug was produced at a pottery in Sunderland, England and is an example of their trademark pink lustreware.
    SignificanceThis jug represents ceramic souvenir pieces made during the 1860s and the clipper ship GREAT AUSTRALIA. The vessel was named after the country to which it spent most of its time sailing.
    HistoryA number of potteries were active at Sunderland, England during the 19th century. These potters specialised in pink lustreware and often did not hallmark their items. They commonly produced jugs, mugs, pots and wall plaques decorated with black transfer prints of the Sunderland region, ships, rural scenes or religious subjects. Clipper ships were part of everyday life in the mid-19th century and potters often commemorated great ships or fast voyages in their work.

    The trademark pink lustreware of Sunderland potters was created by spraying fine drops of oil onto newly painted lustre while it was wet. When the lustre was fired, the pools of oil left a mottled surface. Lustreware can be recognised by its iridescent surface which is created by painting glazed pottery with a mixture of silver, gold, platinum or copper dissolved in acid. The colour of yellow indicates the presence of silver, ruby indicates gold, silver indicates platinum and red or pink indicates copper. In the 19th century copper was by far the most common and cheap lustreware available. It features predominantly in Sunderland wares.

    The GREAT AUSTRALIA was a wooden bark built in New Brunswick, Canada in August 1860. The 1,661-ton, wooden, three-masted clipper ship was specifically designed to cater for the growing number of immigrants coming to Australia. It was owned by Wright & Co of Liverpool and used for transporting cargo and passengers between Liverpool and Melbourne from 1861 until 1864. It wrecked off the coast of Burma on 14 July 1865 while carrying a cargo of rice bound for Liverpool.

    The poem on this jug reads:

    Sweet oh sweet I that sensation
    Where two hearts in union met
    But the pain of separation
    Mingles bitter with the sweet
    Additional Titles

    Web title: GREAT AUSTRALIA

    Primary title: GREAT AUSTRALIA

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