SLAVE TRADE. A RARE LIVERPOOL PRINTED CREAMWARE BEAKER, DATED 1797 transfer printed in black and painted with a privateer and oval medallion of HOPE leaning on an anchor beneath urn and title flanked by floral swags, inscribed in black enamel SUCCESS TO THE BROOKS, initials MEB and date 1797, the rim outlined in green enamel, 8.8cm h
The horrific engraving of the slave ship 'Brooks' with its officially authorised cargo of 451 enslaved Africans stowed head-to-toe, published in 1788 in a Parliamentary report, instantly became, and remains, the single most iconic image of the historic slave trade.
The shocking image was of incalculable value to the abolitionists' cause at a time when increasing numbers of people of conscience, including Willberforce, Clarkson, the Quakers and others were espousing their cause.
The ship's owner, Joseph Brooks the younger (1746-1823) was of a family of prosperous Liverpool merchants with a variety of commercial interests. An earlier Brooks had presented Liverpool with its fine 18th century town hall. The "Brooks" was built in 1781 and operated until 1804. Wedgwood's famous jasper cameo of a slave in chains, medals, letters and other material documenting the rise of abolitionism in England is sometimes seen but rarer by far are objects such as the present beaker, that promoted the slave trade. For an essay on this lot please visit mellorsandkirk.com
Two descending hairline cracks, chip on foot, no restoration