A very scarce early 19th century Staffordshire pottery figure of a Hessian Soldier, playing a transverse flute and standing on a raised, waisted base with sponged decoration.
Pearlware decorated with overglaze enamel colours.
Circa : 1790-1800
Height : 7⅛” (18.2cm)
Condition: Restoration to ends of flute and to some flaking on the base.
Stock ref : 16512/yiii-/+
*King George III was also Elector of Hanover, a German principality. When in the 1770s he needed soldiers to fight those American revolutionaries, King George looked across the Channel to his ancestral home and conscripted about 30,000 soldiers to fight for Britain. Some were subjects of Hanover, but the conscripted fighters were all called Hessians because the largest group came from the German principality of Hesse-Kassel. The men were not mercenaries as we know them today. Some were impressed into service, others were forced to serve because they were conscripts, petty thieves, or debtors. Pay was poor and often consisted of daily food, with wages being sent back to the soldiers’ German rulers! Despite this, the Hessians were highly respected fighters, and their discipline earned them the admiration of friend and foe alike. After the Revolutionary War, some Hessians settled in America and Canada of choice. Others had to stay because their rulers did not want them back!