Antique Georgian Anti Slavery Bristol Blue Glass Rolling Pin RARE Circa 1830s Sunderland Bridge
This is a very rare example of a glass rolling pin. It is rare because of the anti slavery content. The anti slavery poem lifts this rolling pin above the more common blue glass examples with their lover's sentiments, making this a highly collectible item.
This cobalt blue glass rolling pin was produced in the 1830 to 1840 period most likely in Bristol, England. It was in 1833 that Britain eventually passed into law the legislation to abolish slavery. This rolling pin could have been a celebratory commemorative of this historical moment. Bristol and Sunderland were port cities both associated with the Slave trade and the abolition of this trade. Bristol famous for producing Bristol Blue Glass.
Glass rolling pins were often given as parting gifts to Wives and loved ones from sailors who were about to go to sea. The loved one would fill the rolling pin with salt, flour or tea and display it above the fireplace at home. It was a popular superstition that if the glass fell and broke, that the sailor would sadly be lost at sea. These vessels were also thought to be used for smuggling.
This wonderful hand blown glass rolling pin features gold transfers and hand painted decoration in red and green. On the left we find a titled scene of Sunderland Bridge (actually the Wearmouth Bridge), Tyne and Wear, England. Sunderland Bridge was the original bridge over the River Wear and was completed in 1796. It was sponsored by Rowland Burdon MP, he laid the first foundation stone on the 24th of September 1793.
To the center of the rolling pin we find an 18th century anti-slavery poem or toast. The verse reads “Health to the sick, Honour to the brave, Success to the lover, And freedom to the slave.” The final scene shows a sailing ship in full sail.
For reference: There is a Sunderland white glass rolling pin showing the same anti slavery verse in the Tyne and Wear Museum's Collection (TWCMS : E4906). Although not featured on line, The National Museum Liverpool does hold a blue glass rolling pin in their International Slavery Museum. Please see Accession No: KINCM:2006.3745 in the Hull Museum for an example of a Creamware jug featuring this poem. Please see Museum Object Number: 2009.0021.015 A, B in the Winterthur Online collection for an example of a Creamware teapot featuring this poem.
SIZE: Length 16” (41 cm). Width 2.5” (6.5 cm). With manufacturing knop one end and open at the other end (a cork would have originally been inserted here).
CONDITION: This item is free from damage and restoration. There are some minor imperfections (bubbles) to the old glass which is to be expected. There is some rubbing to the three scenes, more so on the left bridge scene and also some words are rubbed away to the centre anti slavery poem, the right ship scene is pretty much intact. The gilding has darkened with age.
SHIPPING: This item will be shipped for FREE via expedited courier to the UK, USA, Canada and mainland Europe ONLY. Customers from elsewhere in the world would be charged for shipping, please contact us beforehand to discuss. Please make sure that you are up to date with your own countries import fees/ charges as we do not cover these. All customers please also supply us with a contact phone number AT POINT OF PURCHASE as this is a requirement of the courier and your countries customs agency.
This is a rare opportunity to own a piece of anti-slavery history. This item has huge appeal and will display excellently.
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