Chinese Porcelain, American History?

This is a late 18th Century  chocolate pot with an iron-red scene of great intrigue. Can you solve the mystery?

This is a late 18th Century chocolate pot with an iron-red scene of great intrigue. Can you solve the mystery?

When I am not taking photos or reminiscing about my travels, I collect things. This photo shows a little image from over 200 years ago of something of immense Scale

Today I had a wonderful lunch at a charming French restaurant but prior to that we dropped into the local antique store and I found a treasure.

This is a chocolate pot of Chinese Porcelain from the late 18th Century. It has had its spout knocked off and reattached at some point in the dim dark past but for $20 I was not going to miss out on owning something so ancient.

The mystery now is…WHAT IS THE SCENE A DEPICTION OF?

A town appears to be in flames on the right while a fort appears on the left.  Is this an American battle scene?

A town appears to be in flames on the right while a fort appears on the left. Is this an American battle scene?

These wares were made, it would seem for the American Market, just after the War of Independence. They often depicted scenes from America (translated by the Chinese from sketches brought by traders).

This scene appears on several other porcelain pieces currently being shown on the internet which are not exact pattern matches but clearly show the same view. I have included a gallery of images of the items below. It appears to be a view of a town on the right with tall ships in front and the town is on fire! On the left appears to be a fortification of some sort.

This is where I show my lack of knowledge about American history. I have spent the afternoon looking at battles during the War of Independence that involve the burning of a town viewed across water deep enough to take large sailing vessels.

What seems to match is the burning of Charlestown by the British who fired on it from Copps Hill battery while 3 of the British battle ships sat in front of the town.

This is pure speculation knowing nothing of the actual local or overall history. None of the other items listed on the web attribute the view to anything other than “a harbour view”. If someone out there knows if this is a significant image then we may well add something to the recording of American history. How exciting would that be!!?

If you would like to give your ideas or know someone who has any ideas then please comment and solve the mystery! (Hit the + sign in the bubbles below to open the comment section)

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3 thoughts on “Chinese Porcelain, American History?

  1. Pingback: “Scale” Photo Challenge | The Bohemian Rock Star's "Untitled Project"

  2. Pingback: Isaiah’s Scale: Plowshare to Crop | My Own Champion

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