Pitcher, "An Emblem of America"

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This creamware pitcher is decorated with a transfer print of Jefferson on one side and an “Emblem of America” on the other. The Arms of the United States is below the spout. Jefferson’s portrait is flanked by two doves, with a verse underneath that reads “Hail Columbia Happy Land, Hail ye patriotic band, Who late opposed oppressive laws, And now stand firm in freedom’s cause, Rejoice for now the storm is gone, Columbia owns her chosen son, the rights of man shall be our boast, And Jefferson our favorite toast, Republicans behold your chief, He comes to give your fears relief, Now arm’d in Virtue firm and true, Looks for support to Heaven and you.” The verse was a twist on the song “Hail, Columbia” originally written to celebrate Washington and Adams. On the reverse is the print titled “An Emblem for America.” It depicts the allegorical figure of Columbia holding a flag and showing two dark skinned Native Americans (who served as iconography for the Western Hemisphere). To Columbia’s left are portraits of men involved in the discovery of North America and the founding of the United States: Christopher Columbus, “Americus” Vespucci, Sir Walter Raleigh, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams.
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: 9 1/8 in x 9 1/2 in x 6 1/2 in; 23.1775 cm x 24.13 cm x 16.51 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
Government, Politics, and Reform
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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