Sun | Nov 29, 2020

Chapters from Jamaican history

Published:Friday | August 11, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Wedgwood Cup
1952 Helsinki Olympics Baton

This week, we continue highlighting some artefacts from time immemorial and how they immortalise turning points that changed the course of Jamaica's history. An initiative of Arts and Education in collaboration with National Museum of Jamaica.


Jasper Ware Cup


This jasper ware cup features the relief seal of the Abolitionist Society commissioned by Josiah Wedgwood in 1787.

Although the society for effecting the abolition of the slave trade was formed in England in 1787, the society issued a medallion showing a kneeling slave with the motto "Am I Not A Man And A Brother?" This emblem became the identifying image of the abolitionist movement and one of the most widely circulated.

From 1787 until his death in 1795, Josiah Wedgwood actively participated in causes for the abolition of slavery. Josiah's most important contribution to the movement for the abolition of slavery is the so-called Slave Medallion, which brought the attention of the public to the horrors of the slave trade.

In 1787, a Jasper copy of the emblem of the Society for the Abolition of Slavery was produced by Wedgwood. Such medallions were intended to adorn hat pins, brooches, and other fashion accessories in order to make known the suffering of slaves.

Britain's Committee to Abolish the Slave Trade adopted the phrase "Am I not a man and a brother?" as its motto in 1787, and anti-slavery campaigner Josiah Wedgwood began to reproduce the design on fashionable jasper ware medallions and seals.


Did you know?


Jasper ware, or jasper ware, is a type of pottery first developed by Josiah Wedgwood in the 1770s. Usually described as stoneware, some authorities have described it as a type of porcelain.

The first and most identifiable image of the 18th-century abolitionist movement was a kneeling African man.


1952 Helsinki Olympics Baton


This Olympic baton was carried by the winning Wint, Laing, Mckenley, Rhoden 4 x 400m relay team at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. They won in a world-record time of 3 minutes 3.9 seconds. Individually, George Rhoden led a Jamaican one-two ahead of Herb McKenley in the 400 metres, and Mckenley won another silver in the 100 metres race. Wint also won silver in the 800 metres. Jamaica finished a remarkable 13th in the medal table ahead of Britain and Canada.

Did you know?

Helsinki is the capital and largest city of Finland.

The first written records of the ancient Olympic Games date to 776 B.C.