6 April 2017

Depictions of Empire in Art & Antiques

The British began to establish overseas colonies in the 16th century. By 1783 Britain had a large empire, with colonies in America and the West Indies. This 'first British Empire' came to an end after the American Revolution. However, in the 19th century, the British built a second worldwide empire, India, based on British sea-power and huge conquests in Africa.

At its height in 1922, the British Empire governed a fifth of the world’s population and a quarter of the world’s total land area.

This colonisation had a profound effect on artists and last year's exhibition - Artist and Empire at Tate Britain - displayed some 200 paintings, drawings, sculptures and artefacts spanning more than 400 years, from the 16th century to the present.

We discovered a few artefacts at Grays associated with The British Empire.

Doulton Lambethware depicting General Gordon. Gordon was a British Army officer and administrator. He saw action in the Crimean War as an officer in the British Army. Available from Leon's Militaria.

Cold cast bronze of Winston Churchill. Available from Leon's Militaria.


Admiral Lord Nelson jug, Staffordshire Pottery, c1840s. Available from Leon's Militaria.

Duke of Wellington jug, Staffordshire Pottery, c1850s. Available from Leon's Militaria

Meat paste jar depicting the Crimean War, Prattware, c1850s. Available from Leon's Militaria.


Bronze East Indian soldier, 18-19th century. Available from Peter Sloane.


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