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Religious Items

SS Republic

Glass & Porcelain


In stark contrast to the enormous quantity of utilitarian cargo recovered from the wreckof the SS Republic was an especially unique consignment of religious wares comprising nearly 100 objects shipped in a single wooden crate, still partly preserved on the seabed. The context presented a cluster of Christian-themed glass and porcelain artifacts completely exposed (except for a light coating of sediment) on the upper surface of the wreckage forward of the starboard paddle wheel. From its position within the wreck, it appears that the crate must originally have been stowed not far below deck against the starboard side of the hull near the forward end of the engine room. 


The religious wares excavated from the site include 34 pressed glass candlesticks in the form of the crucified Christ, in both white and green glass, and attributed to the Boston & Sandwich Glass Factory. Yet the majority of the artifacts aboard the Republic are Continental hard paste porcelains, most of which are glazed. All the porcelains are very likely of French manufacture, possibly the product of one of many Limoges or Vierzon porcelain factories mass-producing such wares for the American market.

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