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GREAT AUSTRALIA

Date: c 1860
Dimensions:
Overall: 144 x 191 mm
Medium: Glazed earthenware
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Jug
Object No: 00008395

User Terms

    Description
    Ships were an everyday part of life in the 19th century and regularly featured on souvenir pottery. This glazed earthenware jug has a wide vertical neck and strap handle. It is decorated with pink splash lustre and black transfer prints depicting the three-masted clipper ship GREAT AUSTRALIA and the Sunderland Bridge. It was part of a range of ceramic ware produced at Sunderland, England to commemorate the GREAT AUSTRALIA.
    SignificanceThis jug illustrates the production of souvenir pieces for the lower to middle classes in the mid-19th century. It represents the clipper ship GREAT AUSTRALIA and the transportation of immigrants to Australia during the 1860s.
    HistoryA number of potteries were active at Sunderland, England in the 19th century. These potteries specialised in pink lustre ware 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 an integral part of life in the 19th century and potters often commemorated great ships and 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 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 GREAT AUSTRALIA was a wooden bark built in New Brunswick, Canada in August 1860. The 1661 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 to 1864. It wrecked off the coast of Burma on 14 July 1865 while carrying a cargo of rice bound for Liverpool.



    Additional Titles

    Web title: GREAT AUSTRALIA

    Primary title: GREAT AUSTRALIA

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