Pitcher, "America Lamenting the Death of Her Favourite Son"

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The central image on this small creamware pitcher is titled “America Lamenting the Death of Her Favorite son” and features a female figure in native headdress and bare breasts weeping next to a profile portrait of Washington. Above the print is an eagle bowing its head. A secondary print, the Great Seal of the United States, decorates the reverse of the jug. The portrait of Washington on this jug is based on an engraving by Charles Balthazar Julien Fevret de Saint Memin around 1800. 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 jug from Ginsberg and Levy of New York, NY on January 26, 1940 for $27.50.
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: 5 3/4 in x 6 1/8 in x 4 in; 14.605 cm x 15.5575 cm x 10.16 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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