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White china cup commemorating the sinking of SMS Emden by HMAS Sydney at Keeling Cocos Island on 9 November 1914

1999.0015.0001

White china cup commemorating the sinking of SMS Emden by HMAS Sydney at Keeling Cocos Island on 9 November 1914

Object information

Physical description

Commemorative white china cup that is printed with a depiction of HMAS Sydney beneath crossed British and Australian flags. A wreath is superimposed on the crossed staffs and above it is a seven-pointed radiant star. "H.M.A.S. SYDNEY DESTROYED THE "EMDEN" / AT KEELING COCOS ISLAND NOV 9, 1914" is below the 'Sydney'. The official 1908 Australian coat of arms in black and white, and "ADVANCE AUSTRALIA / CCOMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA" are on the other side of the cup. The maker's crest "RADFORDS / CROWN CHINA / ENGLAND" is on the base of the cup.

Statement of significance

The Margaret Gibb Collection consists of three items of souvenir crockery. One, a heavy china plate decorated with scenes of Sydney, pre-Federation unofficial coat of arms and Federation flags, was produced in England for the Australian market in 1885. Two, a bone china tall cup decorated with a picture of HMAS Sydney and the 1908 unofficial coat of arms on the observe was produced in 1914 to celebrate the Sydney seeking the German ship Emden. Three, a scalloped china plate decorated with a scene of Nobby's Peninsula in Newcastle was produced in England in the 1920s, probably to fill an order placed by a Newcastle retailer.

The Margaret Gibb Collection demonstrates a range of souvenir crockery produced for the Australian market in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The decoration on the crockery indicates an emerging taste in Australia for national symbology, the development of the home as a site for expressing national identity and patriotic sentiment, and the economic relations between Britain and Australia in the China tableware market.

Object information

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