Pitcher, "Come Box the Compass"

Description
This transfer printed creamware pitcher is decorated on one side by a compass pattern and a commemoration to George Washington on the other. The compass design is headed by a scroll that reads “Come Box the Compass” while below is the text “Invented by Murphy a Dutchman AD 1229 first exhibited at Venice 1260 Improved by Giora of Naples 1309 its declination discovered by Hartman 1538.” The other side features an inset portrait of George Washington flanked by the allegorical figures of Liberty and Freedom. A twisting scroll around the portrait bears the names of 15 states, including misspellings of “Tenassee” and “Masachusett.”
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.
Location
Currently not on view
place made
United Kingdom: England
Physical Description
polychrome (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic, earthenware, refined (overall material)
transfer printed (overall production method/technique)
Measurements
overall: 7 3/4 in x 8 1/2 in x 6 in; 19.685 cm x 21.59 cm x 15.24 cm
ID Number
CE.63.133
catalog number
63.133
accession number
248619
collector/donor number
45-365
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, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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