Original British Pewter Pint Tankard Engraved H.M.S. SERAPIS
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is a fine English Pewter spouted tankard used to "top up" the ale mugs of everyone at the bar. Nice early form with "Crown" over "G.R." marking and later "Crown" over "V.R." marking confirming the accuracy of the pint measure the tankard contained.
The most interesting featured is the engraved fouled naval anchor over H.M.S. Serapis.
H.M.S. Serapis was a 44 gun fifth rate Man-o-War launched at Rotherhithe near London on March 4th, 1779. The following September, whilst under the Command of Captain Richard
Pearson, H.M.S. Serapis in defense of a large merchant fleet, engaged the American privateer BONHOMME RICHARD off Flamborough head near northeast England.
The American Captain JOHN PAUL JONES had his ship essentially shot away from under him but in the hand to hand combat the Americans were able to take over the British Man of War while their own vessel, BONHOMME RICHARD, sank from the damage inflicted by the British.
Captain Jones then made his escape aboard the H.M.S. Serapis.
Captain Richard Pearson returned to England to face court marshal, however, there was a massive public outcry and he was totally exonerated since he had sacrificed his command and in so doing saved the immensely valuable merchant fleet. He was hailed a hero.
John Paul Jones later gave the H.M.S. Serapis as a gift to the French navy who lost the ship in a fire off the coast of Madagascar in 1781.
This Pewter tankard perhaps saw service on H.M.S. Serapis and if so it survived the ship's violent history. In any event, it is a splendid item of the period that went on for further use into the Victorian era.
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