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The STAR OF TASMANIA : pink lustreware plaque

Date: c 1856
Overall: 200 x 230 mm, 0.65 kg
Medium: Ceramic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Plaque
Object No: 00016938
Place Manufactured:England

User Terms

    This earthenware plaque features a decorative raised and moulded edge in the shape of a picture frame with a glazed copper lustre. It depicts the clipper ship STAR OF TASMANIA, sailing under full sail. This type of pink lustreware was predominantly made in potteries at Sunderland, England and commissioned at either the launch or loss of a vessel.
    SignificanceThis ceramic plaque is indicative of the production of souvenir pieces for the lower to middle classes in the mid-19th century. It is representative of the launch of the ship STAR OF TASMANIA, which was active in the Australian wool trade.
    HistoryA number of potteries were active at Sunderland, England in the 19th century. These potteries 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 depicting the Sunderland region, ships, rural scenes or religious subjects. Clipper ships were a part of everyday life in the mid-19th century. Potters often commemorated great ships and fast voyages in their art and artifacts of the day.

    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 little 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 STAR OF TASMANIA was a wooden ship of 632 tons built at Aberdeen in 1856. While loading a cargo of wool at Oamaru, New Zealand the vessel was driven ashore in a storm on 3 February 1868. Two crew members and two young boys were killed.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: STAR OF TASMANIA

    Primary title: The STAR OF TASMANIA : pink lustreware plaque

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