Ceramics Page 11-4

Great Canadian Ceramics

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Absolutely fabulous, and very rare, is this ultra high quality Doulton Lambeth pitcher/jug from the Boer War in 1900.

It is extremely solid and heavy, built to last for centuries, not some throwaway tourist bauble. It was built for people who took patriotism during war time extremely seriously.

481 is probably the pitcher number, so it was made in the hundreds not the tens of thousands common with other cheaper pitcher issues.

It is finished in earth tones of brown to simulate the khaki uniforms that were now universal on the battlefield for the first time, replacing the multicoloured tunics and trousers of most of the Victorian period.

Having been in loving homes for over a century, it is in mint condition.

It qualifies as one of the top three commemorative pitchers made to honour the men who served in the British Armed Forces in South Africa.

It features side cameo portraits of famed Col. Baden-Powell of Mafeking (in Boy Scout hat) and General French the celebrated Boer War British cavalry commander.

The pitcher wonderfully summarizes the British point of view about the war against the Boers, that it was a conflict of Britons in all the Colonies against the dastardly Dutchmen who dared to defy British demands within their own territories.

Pitcher, South Africa 1900 - Doulton Lambeth 1900
Orig. pitcher - Size - 21 cm
Found - Liverpool, UK

This pitcher wonderfully captures this imperial sentiment, featuring a central medallion of Lord Roberts surrounded - supported - by a kangaroo (Australia), an ostrich (South Africa), and a beaver from Canada. New Zealand has to make do with being represented by the kangaroo; no kiwi bird was included. Unless the artist thought the ostrich was a kiwi bird. Stranger things have happened.

In front the British lion rests easy knowing the Empire is rallying behind its top soldier.

Lord Roberts, especially, took great pains to make the colonial members of his army feel that they were an important, essential part of this war against the Boers. Which is why his staff was peopled by officers from Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and India.

Left a famous, much duplicated stereoscope photo of Lord Roberts with one of his Indian staff members in South Africa. These were important publicity promotions to shore up loyalty around the Empire during a time of war.

For all that, in Lord Roberts' case, they weren't phony propaganda. He really liked the colonials, especially the native peoples. He had been born in India, and spent almost his entire life there. And he placed a Ghurka tribesman on his family's heraldic crest, alongside a Scottish Highlander.

He also took pains to place colonial contingents in places on the battlefields where they could feel they were contributing more than just bodies to fill up gaps in the British lines created by Boer sharpshooters.

We believe this pitcher, with its beaver, precariously perched on top of Lord Roberts, was the inspiration for the bright idea of a Conservative Party intellectual, during the September 2008 Canadian national election campaign, to place a pooping puffin over arch enemy Liberal Party leader St├ęphane Dion on an election poster.

Making a judgment call, Conservative intellectuals decided that a pooping beaver was "over the top," and opted to replace the furry critter with the puffin, and let the national bird of Newfoundland do the honours. Prime Minister Stephen Harper thought this was especially rich since he is in a bitter personal wrangle with fellow Conservative Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Danny Williams.

Danny was, predictably, outraged that his national symbol was indecorously depicted during a private moment, and used in such a petty political manner, and redoubled his "Anybody but Harper" electioneering campaign. Danny is extremely vocal about denouncing the Prime Minister for both lying to him and cheating Newfoundlanders out of proceeds from his province's offshore oil patch.

Steve, feeling the mounting negative publicity, ordered the ad pulled but he had made his point, having bagged two birds with one poop...

To be fair to Harper - he needs every dollar he can scrounge to pay for his war in Afghanistan into which he has poured billions in direct opposition to the wishes of the vast majority of Canadians.

News Flash - Our sources tell us that Prime Minister Harper has issued orders to his Defence Chief that "no unnecessary military sorties be attempted outside the compound perimeter in Kandahar during the current election campaign."

Apparently Conservative Party operatives believe it would adversely affect their chances at the polls if Canadian soldiers were inopportunely killed during the heat of the election campaign. So Canadian soldiers can feel quite safe in Afghanistan, knowing that none of them will have to die "for their country," not until after Steve gets re-elected again...

(There had been more than a little concern in the PMO* about the recent rash of some half dozen Canadian fatalities in Afghanistan, so embarrassingly close to the election.)

*Poop Managment Office

Copyright Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996-1999-2005

4 - South Africa 1900, Doulton Lambeth Jug - 1900

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