A rare, mid-18th century, English, delftware dish commemorating the capture of Portobello

September 18, 2019 2:41 pm Published by

The well decorated with three ships attacking, the fort on the left, a church against the hill to the right and the town beyond, within concentric lines. Restoration to a break, cracks and rim chips. Probably Liverpool, circa 1740. 80511280
Diameter : 35.50 cm.

Reference: English Delftware (Britton), plate 10.48. Glaisher Collection no 1529. Robert Hall Warren Collection (Ray) no 28. Admiral Edward Vernon captured Portobello, on the isthmus of Darien in Panama, on 29th November 1739. It was the center of Spanish coastguard activity, and an important trading center. He accomplished this with five ships, and instantly became a national hero. Descriptions of the event refer to the fort on the left of the entry, the church on the right and the town on the right of the inlet beyond, but no print has come to light which shows all these features in the way presented. Vernon went on to capture Chagres the following year and his eventual return to Bristol is described by John Latimer in his “Annals of Bristol in the Eighteenth Century (Bristol 1893) thus: “Admiral Veron landed at Bristol on the sixth of January 1743 and was greeted with great acclamations in proceeding to Small Street to partake of the hospitality of the Mayor. A week later thirty chests of silver bullion, containing about 900,000 pieces-of-eight were taken out of his ship and despatched to London.” Admiral Vernon’s exploits were commemorated on delftware dishes, plates and bowls.

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