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“EAST INDIA SUGAR not made by SLAVES”
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This blue glass sugar bowl is also a piece of political propaganda from early XIX-century Britain. The bowl is from a tea box that also contained compartments for black and green (unfermented) tea. The bowl is inscribed in gilt with the words EAST INDIA SUGAR not made by SLAVES.

The campaign for the abolition of slavery began at the end of the XVIII century and supporters urged a boycott of sugar from West Indian slave plantations. Alternative sources of sugar were found in the emerging European sugar beet industry and in cane sugar from Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. East India sugar merchants took advantage of the boycott to market their sugar as not made by slaves. The claim was more a marketing ploy than a gesture of humanitarian support because conditions on plantations in the East Indies may have been little better than those in the Caribbean.

“EAST INDIA SUGAR not made by SLAVES”


From Bristol, England, c. 1800-30.
Ht 11 cm.




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