“And, as an encouragement to them to behave well and to attend diligently to their duty, the Colonel (Washington) promises to give them, so long as they deserve it, 4 gallons of rum, made into a punch, every day.” General Orders August 7th, 1756
A rare, early 19th century, bone china, large punch bowl made by John Rose of Coalport. The Coalport works were founded by John Rose (1772-1841) a local farmer’s son, in 1796. The bowl decorated with four panels, each with Japanese inspired designs including a Japanese Kakiemon style 'Banded Hedge'.
Each of the polychrome panels with a bright palette of enamels including iron red, green, pastel orange and pale blue, the decoration brightly gilded. The Japanese style reserves separated by finely gilded vase shapes in burnt orange enamel. This Japanese inspired design was one of several referred to as an "Old Japan" decoration.
English punch bowls are rare as the vast majority were Chinese export bowls, plus the fact that an example such as this, in such fine condition, would be classified as a "survivor". Punch was a very alcoholic drink and as the party went on, the use of the heavy silver punch ladle became more and more reckless, often resulting in the punch bowl being lost.
Punch is believed to have been introduced in the early 18th century, being given to the crew of East Indiamen sailing ships as a cure for scurvy. The sailors, at first, thought the officers were trying to trick them out of their beer ration when they were offered "lemon juice" instead. They flatly refused to drink it if it was not mixed with the two ingredients which their tedious and salty diet made them want most of all - sugar and alcohol.
The alcohol that was the least expensive for the company to buy, was a local brew from Java, namely "Arrack" which is more or less the Arabic word for "moonshine". This was eventually replaced by West Indian rum. Punch was extremely popular throughout the 18th and well into the 19th centuries in both England and America.
This is a typical recipe for punch as made during this period:-
Place the peels of 3-4 bright yellow lemons in a lidded jar with 3/4 cup sugar. Seal, shake, and let sit for at least 3-4 hours, (and up to 8), in the sun. When you're ready to make the punch, open the jar and add 3/4 cups strained lemon juice. Seal and shake until sugar has dissolved. Pour contents of jar into punch bowl, add one 750 ml bottle of Jamaican rum plus one litre of water, hot or cold. Grate nutmeg over top and serve!
Punch bowls today are often used by interior designers as a centerpiece on a dining room table or sideboard, filled with flowers or potpourri.
Condition. These is no damage to the bowl. A little wear to the gilded rim and a small area of light staining to the interior.
The diameter of the bowl is 11"/28cm and 5"/13 cm high.
Regency of George, Prince of Wales - Circa 1800-1810