Pitcher, "Jacob Knight"

This large creamware pitcher is decorated with maritime-themed images on both sides. One side depicts a shipyard in the process of building a ship while another ship sails away in the background. The other side features the image of the now-built ship under sail flying the American flag. Under the spout a medallion features the name “Jacob Knight” in the center. Robert H. McCauley purchased this pitcher from Joseph Kindig of York, PA on August 5, 1938 for $85.00. This pitcher was previously part of the antiques collections of Mrs. G. Winthrop Brown and William Randolph Hearst. In Liverpool Transfer Designs on Anglo-American Potter McCauley attributes the piece to Jacob Knight, a shipbuilder from Portland, Maine who perhaps commissioned this piece to reflect his business. The transfer-print features color on the American flag.
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
polychrome (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic, earthenware, refined (overall material)
transfer printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 10 in x 10 in; 25.4 cm x 25.4 cm
overall: 9 15/16 in x 9 3/4 in x 7 1/2 in; 25.24125 cm x 24.765 cm x 19.05 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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