Pitcher, "John Adams"

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This small creamware jug is decorated with a rare transfer print featuring a portrait of John Adams. The print is titled “John Adams President of the United States.” Above the portrait is a small Great Seal of the United States. Below is a cherub with quills and books. Under the spout is the phrase “Success to America” printed within a medallion. The reverse side is printed with an image of a spread-winged eagle with U. S. Shield. The eagle is encircled by a chain of sixteen links, each with a state’s name. Two states are misspelled: “Tenassee” and “Masachusetts.” Robert H. McCauley purchased this from the Collector’s Clock Shop in New York, NY on March 22, 1939 for $25.00.
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: 7 23/32 in x 7 in x 4 1/2 in; 19.6342 cm x 17.78 cm x 11.43 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
Government, Politics, and Reform
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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