Pitcher, "WashingtonBy Virtue and Valour"

Pitcher, "Washington/By Virtue and Valour"

<< >>
This creamware pitcher is decorated with two prints related to George Washington. The first print depicts George Washington stepping on a lion, symbolizing the defeat of Great Britain during the American Revolution. Surrounding this image are the words “By virtue and valour, we have freed our country, extended our commerce, and laid the foundations of a great empire.” In the background are a few Continental soldiers and a ship flying the American flag. On the reverse is a memorial print of George Washington surrounded by the allegories of Justice, Liberty, and Victory. The border for this print is made up of ribbons and stars. Each loop of ribbon features the names of the first fifteen states of the Union. This pitcher is in poor condition and has been repaired with staples in numerous places to hold it together. Printed under the spout is a flower. Robert H. MCauley purchased this jug from Joseph Kindig, Jr. of York, PA on August 5, 1938 for $60.00 as part of the William Randolph Hearst Collection.
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: 11 in x 9 1/2 in x 7 in; 27.94 cm x 24.13 cm x 17.78 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