Pitcher, "United We Stand"

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This pitcher is one from a set of 100 that were specially ordered in 1790 by Samuel Jenks, a captain of the Boston Fusiliers. The pitcher features a print of a soldier of the Boston Fusiliers, wearing a red faced blue coat, bearskin cap, and white breeches. He carries a sword and holds the flag of the Fusiliers. Above the soldier’s head is the motto of the Fusiliers: “AUT VINCERE AUT MORI,”—either to conquer or die. Below the soldier is the statement “Success to the Independent Boston Fusiliers, Incorporated July 4th 1787- America for ever.” Above the soldier is a collection of masonic icons. On the reverse is a smaller print of the Great Seal above a print depicting the allegorical figures of Peace, Liberty, and Justice. Below the print is an image of agriculture and commerce surrounded by the words “United we stand Divided we fall.” Below the spout is a generic transfer print of the Great Seal of the United States. Founded in 1787 by veterans of the Revolutionary War, the Boston Fusiliers served as an honor guard for patriotic and political events in and around the city. Jenks was a member of King Solomon’s Masonic Lodge in Charlestown, MA. Many of the other fusiliers were masons as well, hence the masonic imagery on this pitcher. Robert H. McCauley purchased this pitcher from Mrs. Breckenridge Long of Laurel, MD for $250 on May 25, 1940.
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
polychrome (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic, earthenware, refined (overall material)
transfer printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 11 9/16 in x 9 5/8 in x 6 7/8 in; 29.369 cm x 24.4475 cm x 17.4625 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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