Pitcher, "Newburyport Harbour"

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This creamware pitcher was likely made by the Herculaneum Pottery in Liverpool, England between 1805 and 1810. The pitcher is transfer-printed with a map of the “Newburyport Harbour” in Massachusetts and the statement “Success to the Commerce of Newburyport.” The map includes nautical information about the harbor and includes the location of a lighthouse. Above the map is an eagle with its wings spread behind a liberty cap and wreath. The eagle is flanked by two flags: an American flag with 15 stars and 16 stripes and a flag with 16 stripes and no stars. Below the map is a small depiction of a sailor holding a sextant. Under the spout is a transfer-print of the classical figure Columbia. Under the handle is a transfer-print of the seal of the United States. On the reserve is a transfer-print of the ship “Massachusetts.” Images of flowers and a sailor blowing a horn or using a speaking trumpet are printed on opposite sides of the ship.
Newburyport was established in 1764 and its economy thrived based on maritime trade. However, a fire in 1811 and the War of 1812 caused economic decline. The merchant ship “Massachusetts” was built at Newburyport in 1805 with Captain Thomas Buntin as its master. In 1806, the ship was detained by the British in the Mediterranean before its release in 1807. Buntin continued to use this ship as a facilitator of trade between Europe and the United States.
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: 12 1/8 in x 12 3/4 in x 8 1/2 in; 30.7975 cm x 32.385 cm x 21.59 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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