Pitcher, "American Eagle"

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This earthenware pitcher is decorated with a transfer printed design of a sailing ship flying on one side with the Great Seal of the United States encircled by a chain of sixteen links. Each link has a different state’s name on it, with several state names misspelled due to its British origin. Under the spout is a medallion and the script initials “SW” within it. Under the handle is a print of a flower and around the lip of the jug is a floral pattern. Remnants of gilding can be seen around the pitcher, and certain aspects of the ship scene have been hand-colored. Robert H. McCauley purchased this jug from Edward C. Ford of Marshfield, MA on October 21, 1938 for $60.00.
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
polychrome (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic, earthenware, refined (overall material)
transfer printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 9 5/8 in x 8 3/4 in x 5 3/8 in; 24.4475 cm x 22.225 cm x 13.6525 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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