Gaspee Days Committee
History Files

Gaspee Commemorative Plates



Haviland-Gaspee Commemorative Plate
A commemorative plate, depicting the 1772 Burning of the H.M.S. Gaspee by colonial patriots, was first presented at the State House on April 8, 1972. In addition to the State, presentations were made to three history oriented organizations.

The Gaspee plate was the first in a five plate series of major colonial events that ended with the Declaration of Independence. They were manufactured by Haviland China, Ltd., of Limoges, France.

The plate was designed by Remy Hetreau, a French artist. The scene, showing longboats surrounding the burning vessel, was based on an old engraving from an unknown artist. The red, white, and blue scene in the center of the plate is surrounded by a blue rim and 50 white stars.  This plate is usually available on eBay every week.

From the reverse:

"1772-The burning of the Gaspee

This incident was the first overt attack on the Crown by the American Colonies.  In June of 1772, the British customs vessel, the Gaspee, under command of a particularly unpleasant captain and crew, had been in pursuit of an American ship suspected of smuggling.

The colonists, still angered over the Stamp Act -- only recently repealed -- attacked the Gaspee.  uring the night, a group including conservative merchants under the leadership of one Abraham Whipple, and reputedly disguised as Indians, boarded and burning this symbol of "Taxation Without Representation". The first tocsin had been sounded."

We must admit to never having heard the word 'tocsin'--it's defined as "a warning, an omen, or an alarm".

Gorham Gorham (Pewter)-Gaspee Commemorative Plate
This pewter, engraved plate was created by Gorham to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Burning of the Gaspee.  The engraving is taken from the painting of Robert James Pailthorpe.

The reverse is inscribed:

"First of a Series, Limited in Edition, Commemorating One of the First Clashes of the American Revolution"

Compare with more ornate, heavier, and larger Gorham Silver Commemorative plate below.
RecoPlate Stuart Devlin Silverplated-Gaspee Commemorative Plate
This Reco silverplated (in dire need of a good polishing!!) plate was made in England, is and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.


"Commemorating the Gaspee Incident 1772"
Reverse rim:

"Stuart Devlin, American Series, Made in England. 
Gaspee Days Committee-Commemorative Plate
This elegant plate with gold edge trim was probably commissioned by the Gaspee Days Committee, likely in the 1970s, and was made by World Wide Art Studios in Crompton, Tennessee. 

Reverse reads:
    The "Gaspee," an armed British customs schooner, was sent by King George III to Rhode Island waters to harass navigation and prevent smuggling in Narragansett Bay. After being deliberately lured onto a sandbar off Namquid Point by the packet "Hannah," on June 9, 1772; the "Gaspee" was burned to the water line by a small band of patriots, at dawn on June 10.
    Because this event helped unite the Colonies, led to the convening of the First Continental Congress and preceeded the Revolutionary War by three years; it is considered to be the "First Blow for Freedom."
World Wide Art
Burning of the Gaspee-Commemorative Plate
This elegant plate with gold edge trim is a pair with the plate above, and was made by World Wide Art Studios in Crompton, Tennessee.  It is the same size and style as the plate above, with the same wording on the reverse side. See detailed inset at
Wedgewood-Queensware Queensware-Gaspee Commemorative Plate
This is a Wedgwood Queensware china collectible plate, one of a series of original 13 Colonies produced c1976 celebrating America's independence. The figurehead at the top is General Nathanael Greene from Rhode Island. Black on cream, 9.25 inch diameter.
Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the United States of America 1776-1976
Rhode Island-The Thirteenth State

The Sinking of "Gaspee":  Hostile Rhode Islanders were, in effect, at war with the British as early as June 1772.  They boarded, captured, and burned the armed British schooner "Gaspee" as it hunted smugglers in Narragansett Bay.  London angrily set up a Commission of enquiry--but, alas, Rhode Islanders suffered a sudden and severe loss of memory, and the investigation collapsed.

Wedgwood of Etruria & Barlaston
British American Bicentennial Group 1776-1976
Gorham Sterling 1972
Gorham-Whiting (Sterling Silver)
Gaspee Commemorative Plate

Each picture around the plate is a theme: 1773 Boston Tea Party, 1774 Continental Congress, 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill, 1776 Independence Declared, 1777 Washington at Valley Forge, 1778 Battle of Monmouth, Center-1772 Burning of the Gaspee (a testament to the importance of the Gaspee Affair). 13.5 inches in diameter, run of 2500. Engraving in center is taken from painting by James Pailthorpe. Compare (and do not confuse) with smaller, less expensive Gorham Pewter plate above.




Armstrong Armstrong-Gaspee Commemorative Plate

This bronze sculpted plate was also discovered on eBay and was created in 1972 by Douglas W. Downs for Armstrong's of Pomona California.  The plate is approximately 12 inches in diameter.


America 1772 Gaspee Affair


Part of the American Bicentenial Series, First edition Number two.
Wedgewood RI 1936 Wedgewood 1936 Rhode Island Commemorative Plate
This Wedgewood plate was commissioned by Tilden-Thurber Jewelry for the RI Tercentenial celebrations and featured insets that included the Burning of the Gaspee, along with The landing of Roger Williams,The Ann and Hope, The Old Slater Mill, Providence in 1936, Brown University, Gen. Nathanael Greene, Gilbert Stuart, Moses Brown, Esek Hopkins Maintonomi, and Canonicus, with the Rhode Island State Seal in the middle. 10� inches in diameter.

Reverse includes: the signature of Roger Williams, and the marks of Canonicus and Miantonomi.  Limited First Edition.
Bel-Ar Decals Warwick Commemorative PlateGaspee Inset

Produced by  Bel-Ar Decals of East Liverpool, Ohio, this undated commemorative plate of "Warwick-Founded 1644" features scenes of the burning of the Gaspee,  Nathanael (misspelled) Greene homestead, Warwick lighthouse,  Kentish Artillery armory, Drum Rock, and Warwick City Hall.  Note that the artwork of the Gaspee improperly depicts a brig-rigged schooner.
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Rev. 04/2019    CommemorativePlates.htm