Pitcher, "Ascending into Glory"

This earthenware pitcher is decorated with a transfer print of the Apotheosis of Washington on one side and an American ship under sail on the other. The ship is labeled “Ship Sally of Newbury Port/Moses Wells/Master, 1805.” Under the spout is a print of the Great Seal of the United States with the most famous line of Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address (1801) below it: “Peace, Commerce, and honest Friendship with all Nations. Entangling Alliances with none- JEFFERSON.”
George Washington is the most common figure depicted on English creamware pitchers of this period. His death in 1799 led to an outpouring of commemorative products celebrating his life and mourning his death. The Apotheosis of Washington is a print done by John James Barralet’s captioned “Ascending to Glory” on the pitcher. The print depicts Washington being raised from his tomb by two winged figures representing Immortality and Father Time. At the left are allegorical figures of Faith, Hope, and Charity above a spread winged bald eagle perched on the US shield with a banner reading “E Pluribus Unum” in its beak. Below Washington is an allegorical figure of Liberty and a Native American (representing the Western Hemisphere) seated among Washington’s armor, sword, and a fasces— iconography of his military and political career. Robert H. McCauley purchased this pitcher from Joseph Kindig of York, PA on August 5, 1938 for $90.00. This specific pitcher used to be part of William Randolph Hearst’s antique collection.
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: 11 1/2 in x 11 1/2 in; 29.21 cm x 29.21 cm
overall: 11 1/16 in x 11 3/16 in x 8 in; 28.09875 cm x 28.41625 cm x 20.32 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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