1794 MISSIONARY SHIP DUFF. Significant Hand-Painted Staffordshire Inaugurating the Duff.
1794 MISSIONARY SHIP DUFF. Significant Hand-Painted Staffordshire Inaugurating the Duff.
1794 MISSIONARY SHIP DUFF. Significant Hand-Painted Staffordshire Inaugurating the Duff.
1794 MISSIONARY SHIP DUFF. Significant Hand-Painted Staffordshire Inaugurating the Duff.
1794 MISSIONARY SHIP DUFF. Significant Hand-Painted Staffordshire Inaugurating the Duff.
1794 MISSIONARY SHIP DUFF. Significant Hand-Painted Staffordshire Inaugurating the Duff.
1794 MISSIONARY SHIP DUFF. Significant Hand-Painted Staffordshire Inaugurating the Duff.
1794 MISSIONARY SHIP DUFF. Significant Hand-Painted Staffordshire Inaugurating the Duff.
1794 MISSIONARY SHIP DUFF. Significant Hand-Painted Staffordshire Inaugurating the Duff.
1794 MISSIONARY SHIP DUFF. Significant Hand-Painted Staffordshire Inaugurating the Duff.
1794 MISSIONARY SHIP DUFF. Significant Hand-Painted Staffordshire Inaugurating the Duff.
1794 MISSIONARY SHIP DUFF. Significant Hand-Painted Staffordshire Inaugurating the Duff.

1794 MISSIONARY SHIP DUFF. Significant Hand-Painted Staffordshire Inaugurating the Duff.

Regular price
$2,250.00
Sale price
$2,250.00

The present large form hand-painted Staffordshire bowl, apparently the sole example, is an absolutely beautiful and historically significant piece of missionary history.

Measuring nearly 11 inches in diameter, it seems most likely that it was created as a single example likely as a gift of gratitude from the London Missionary Society to a generous donor.

The Duff itself was commissioned in 1794 as a trade vessel under Captain Gordon, running a regular route between London and Gibraltar. The London Missionary Society was formed the very next year [1795] and was in need of a supply of their own ships. Because of the nature of "pioneer missions," the stops necessary for the ship weren't on usual trade routes.  So the LMS decided to acquire ships and lease their storage to transport commercial goods to pay for the travel. This would enable them to be at their own leisure to go to not-yet discovered islands that offered not trade benefit, but were of deep missional interest.

The LMS acquired it in 1796, the likely year of the bowl's production, and it set out for its first voyage under famed missionary Captain, James Wilson. Departing in August, Wilson delivered a 39 missionaries [30 men, 6 women, and 3 children] to Tahiti, Tonga, and the Marquesas Islands. His last stop was Tongatapu. He dropped off 9 missionaries, three of whom were killed by the locals. 

The missionary ship was the pride of the fleet for its short life. It departed London in December of 1798 for what would be its finale voyage. With 30 missionaries on board, she was captured off Rio de Janeiro by the pirate ship, La Grande Buonaparte. The missionaries were stranded, in true pirate style, off the coast of Uruguay and the ship seized.

Truly original material from this early period of the modern missionary movement are now very rare.  And this an exceptionally fine item, being not only an important piece of ephemera, but one of the only period paintings of the Duff extant, likely with no others produced. 

10.5 inches in diameter. Some crazing, small surface chip in lip, a few neat surface cracks that are in no way structural. Beautifully patinated.

For further information on the Duff, see James Wilson's Journal of a Voyage in the Missionary Ship Duff; William Hargrove's Some Interesting Particulars of the Second Voyage Made by the Missionary Ship Duff; George Vason's Life of the Late George Vason, One of the Troop of Missionaries First Sent to the South Sea Islands by the London Missionary Society in the Ship Duff, etc. 

In very good condition.