Candlestick from the Bonhomme Richard
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This turned brass candlestick with a brass bobeche to catch the wax drippings, was saved from the wardroom of the Bonhomme Richard before she sank, after a battle with the Serapis in September 1779.
The battle between the Bonhomme Richard (sometimes the name of the ship appears as Bon Homme Richard) and the Serapis started on the evening of 23 September 1779. The Bonhomme Richard was under the command of John Paul Jones and was part of a squadron of four American and French vessels that encountered two British naval ships near Flamborough Head along the coast of England. The battle was intense and after a night of fighting, when the ships touched sides, Jones had his men lash their vessel to the Serapis. Although they weren't able to board the Serapis, the fighting continued. A determined Jones famously said, "I have not yet begun to fight" in reply to the British captain's question about whether or not Jones was willing to surrender. Later, it was the British captain who surrendered to Jones. By that time, the Bonhomme Richard was so extensively damaged that it couldn't be saved and sank on 25 September 1779. Jones commanded the damaged, but operable, Serapis back to safety for repairs.