Pitcher, "Washington"

<< >>
This transfer printed creamware pitcher is decorated with two prints related to the death of George Washington. On the front is a print of a portrait of Washington in profile titled “He in Glory America in Tears.” On the reverse is an urn marked with the initials “GW” surrounded by a list of Washington’s life achievements. It reads “GEORGE WASHINGTON born Feb. 11, 1732 Gen.l of the American Armies 1775 Resigned 1783 President of the United States 1789 Resigned 1796 / General of the American Armies 1798 Died universally regretted 14th . December 1799.” Finally, under the spout is a transfer printed medallion with the words, “A MAN / without example / A PATRIOT / without reproach.” This phrase3 is drawn from Thomas Paine’s “An Eulogy on the Life of General George Washington” delivered on January 2, 1800. Black ink accents the lip of the jug. George Washington is the most common figure depicted on English creamware pitchers of this period. His death in 1799 led to an outpouring of commemorative products celebrating his life and mourning his death. Robert H. McCauley purchased this pitcher from Washington Art Galleries in Washington, DC on October 15, 1951 for $80.00.
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: 10 3/8 in x 9 1/2 in x 6 5/8 in; 26.3525 cm x 24.13 cm x 16.8275 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


Add a comment about this object