Pitcher, "Commodore Perry"

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This creamware pitcher is decorated with an image of Oliver Hazard Perry, famous for his defeat of a British naval squadron at the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813. “Commodore Perry” is written above the portrait, with a ribbon below “We have met the enemy and they are ours!” Below that, Perry has been granted the title “Hero of the Lakes.” On the reverse of the jug is a print of an American frigate. The image of Perry is based on an engraving by Philadelphian George Delleker, c.1813.
This pitcher is part of the McCauley collection of American themed transfer print pottery. There is no mark on the pitcher to tell us who made it, but it is characteristic of wares made in large volume for the American market in both Staffordshire and Liverpool between 1790 and 1820. Pitchers of this shape, with a cream colored glaze over a pale earthenware clay, known as Liverpool type, were the most common vessels to feature transfer prints with subjects commemorating events and significant figures in the early decades of United States’ history. Notwithstanding the tense relationship between Britain and America, Liverpool and Staffordshire printers and potters seized the commercial opportunity offered them in the production of transfer printed earthenwares celebrating the heroes, the military victories, and the virtues of the young republic, and frequently all of these things at once.
Currently not on view
place made
United Kingdom: England, Liverpool
Physical Description
monochrome, black (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic, earthenware, refined (overall material)
transfer printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 6 1/2 in x 7 1/16 in x 5 in; 16.51 cm x 17.93875 cm x 12.7 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
collector/donor number
Credit Line
Robert H. McCauley
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Domestic Furnishings
McCauley Liverpool Pottery
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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