Pitcher, "Admiral Lord Nelson"

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On the front of this creamware pitcher is a transfer print of a monument commemorating Washington’s death surrounded by a chain of states which omits Vermont and Rhode Island, but includes Kentucky. The monument is an obelisk decorated with the All Seeing Eye and the phrase “First in war, first in peace, first in fame, first in virtue.” Various figures are shown mourning at the monument. On the reverse is a portrait of “Admiral Lord Nelson” flanked by two cherubs. Below the portrait is a plan of the “Battle of the Nile.” Under the spout is the name “Mary Worthen” and the Great Seal of the United States. Black ink accents the base, lip, spout, and handle of the jug. British Admiral Horatio Nelson won a victory at the Battle of the Nile on August 1, 1798. The battle took place near Alexandria, Egypt. It is unclear which portrait of nelson this transfer print is based on. Robert H. McCauley purchased this jug from Howe’s House of Antiques of Boston, MA on November 3, 1938 for $70.00.
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 1/2 in x 11 in x 8 1/4 in; 26.67 cm x 27.94 cm x 20.955 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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