Pitcher, "New York State Arms"

This transfer printed creamware pitcher is decorated with the Arms of New York on one side and the arms of the United States of America on the other. The arms of New York state is a shield depicting a sun rising over the Hudson River valley with a spread-winged eagle perched at the top of the shield. The shield is flanked by the allegorical figure of Justice holding her sword and scales and Liberty holding her staff topped with a Liberty cap. Beneath is a scroll that reads “Excelsior.” Above the arms is the text “New York State Arms” and below “The people of the Western part of the State of New York, Wealthy, Populous, and Independent, ready at the call of their country to convert their peaceable ploughshares into Instruments of War.” The arms of the United States features a spread-winged eagle with the U.S. shield at its breast clutching arrows in one talon and a laurel branch in the other, in its beak is a scroll that reads “E PLURIBUS UNUM” while 16 stars are above its head. Under the arms is the text “May success attend our Agriculture, Trade, and Manufactures.”
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
Physical Description
monochrome, red (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic, earthenware, refined (overall material)
transfer printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 7 in x 7 in; 17.78 cm x 17.78 cm
overall: 6 7/8 in x 6 15/16 in x 4 15/16 in; 17.4625 cm x 17.62125 cm x 12.54125 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England, Liverpool
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
collector/donor number
Domestic Furnishings
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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