Admiral Duncan - George III Enamelled Box, South Staffordshire, 1797
Adding product to your cart
Width: 4cm (1.6in)
Polychrome transferware decorated enamelled copper. Old rose lobed body with hinged lid transfer decorated with Admiral; Duncan’s flagship H.M.S. Venerable under sail, and inscribed ‘Admiral Duncan / Venerable / 54 Guns / 11 Oct 1797’. Mirror set inside the lid.
The British victory at Camperdown, formalized by the surrender of the Dutch Admiral de Winter’s sword on the quarter-deck of Admiral Adam Duncan’s flagship HMS Venerable on 11 October 1797, signalled a moment of reprieve for patriotic Britons from ideologically driven French aggression and the threat internal revolution. In the autumn of 1797 Britain had been at war with Revolutionary France for four years. Throughout the summer the French Directory had been encouraging the Dutch fleet to cover a landing of French 25,000 troops in Ireland in support of a planned rebellion, before proceeding to Scotland and launching a full-scale invasion of England.
Enamelled boxes of this type were decorated by transfer printing, which involved taking an impression from an inked engraved metal plate coated, reversing it and applying it to the enamel box. The technique was developed in Battersea under the patronage of Sir Stephen Theodore Janssen, sometime Lord Mayor of London, at York House in Battersea. The Battersea production ceased in 1756 owing to bankruptcy whence production moved to South Staffordshire.