sugar-bowl / box
Blue glass sugar bowl inscribed in gilt 'EAST INDIA SUGAR/not made by/SLAVES' accompanied by a wooden box (not original but of the period) on four gilt brass feet with hinged lid and two lion-mask-and-ring handles containing three compartments, two formerly lined with lead for green and black tea, the central one for the bowl.
- 1820-1830 (circa)
- Made in: Bristol (probably)
- (Europe,British Isles,England,City of Bristol,Bristol)
- Height: 110 millimetres (bowl)
- Diameter: 100 millimetres (bowl)
- Length: 278 millimetres (box)
- Height: 135 millimetres (box)
Inscription Positionon one side
Inscription ContentEAST INDIA SUGAR/not made by/SLAVES
This glass bowl is thought to be unique, although another may have been in the antiques trade. Associated with the Campaign for the Abolition of Slavery. For a sugar bowl of rather similar shape with lion mask rudimentary handles and a conical cover made of pottery with a blue-grey glaze, ht. 6ins, attributed to Staffordshire or Sunderland, c. 1820, see Robert Hunter (ed.), 'Ceramics in America 2001, publ. by the Chipstone Foundation, distrib. by University Press of New England, Hanover and London, 2001, fig. 22, p. 41.
A bone china sugar bowl (no cover) decorated on one side with a slave kneeling under a palm tree and on the other with a gilt inscription: East India Sugar not made/By Slaves./By Six Families using/East India, instead of/West India Sugar,one/Slave less is required" is illustrated by Sam Margolin, "And Freedom to the Slave": Antislavery Ceramics, 1787-1865', in R. Hunter (ed.), 'Ceramics in America 2002', p. 88, figs 18, 19.
A drabware sugar bowl (cover lacking) with the same inscription as on the BM glass bowl in gold is in the Norwich Castle Museum, illus Transactions of the English Ceramic Circle, vol. 20, part 2, p. 337, fig. 19
On display: G47/dc7
Excellent. The box, however, lacks the lead liners to the compartments and has replacement feet. Its condition is otherwise generally good.
- Associated Event: Abolition of slavery
Britain, Europe and Prehistory
If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: email@example.com
Object reference number: MCT28262
British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.
The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.