Pitcher, "Franklin"

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This transfer printed creamware pitcher was made by Josiah Wedgwood in Stoke-on-Trent, England around 1790. One transfer print depicts the winged figure of Liberty on a cloud blowing her trumpet. The other transfer print features a portrait of Benjamin Franklin wearing his famous beaver cap, with a scroll underneath that reads “Born at Boston in New England, 17 Jan. 1706/L.L.D.F.R.S.” The portrait of Franklin on this bowl is based on the 1777 drawing by French artist Charles Nicolas Cochin.
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
Josiah Wedgwood & Sons
place made
United Kingdom: England, Staffordshire
Physical Description
monochrome, black (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic, earthenware, refined (overall material)
transfer printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 8 1/8 in x 7 3/4 in x 5 1/2 in; 20.6375 cm x 19.685 cm x 13.97 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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