Pitcher, "Washington/Independence"

This large creamware pitcher is extensively decorated with transfer prints. On the front is a polychromed print of a map of the United States flanked by George Washington and the allegorical figure of Liberty on one side and Benjamin Franklin and the allegories of Justice and Wisdom on the other. Also included in this print are a herald, a striped flag, as well as a liberty cap. The print is signed “F. Morris Shelton.” On the reverse is a polychrome American sailing ship. Under the spout is a print featuring Masonic symbols, with a stanza from Edward Rushton’s 1806 poem “American Independency” that reads “As he tills your rich glebe, the old peasant shall tell / While his bosom with Liberty glows / How your WARREN expired __ how MONTGOMERY fell / And how WASHINGTON humbled your foes.” The map transfer print is drawn from the legend of a map of the United States published by John Wallis of London in 1783.
This jug was made in Staffordshire County, England between 1806 and 1812. Robert H. McCauley purchased it from Parke Bernet Galleries of New York, NY on March 31, 1944 for $100.00, as part of the George Horace Lorimer collection (item no. 514). Lorimer was an editor of The Saturday Evening Post from 1899 to 1936.
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
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
polychrome (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic, earthenware, refined (overall material)
transfer printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 12 1/2 in x 12 3/4 in; 31.75 cm x 32.385 cm
overall: 12 3/8 in x 12 3/4 in x 9 in; 31.4325 cm x 32.385 cm x 22.86 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England, Liverpool
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
collector/donor number
Domestic Furnishings
Government, Politics, and Reform
McCauley Liverpool Pottery
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
McCauley Liverpool Pottery
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Robert H. McCauley
Additional Media

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