Pitcher, "Sophia"

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This transfer printed creamware pitcher is decorated with a print of a brig under sail on one side and an image of a globe depicting the North American seaboard on the other. The print of the brig is polychromed and titled “Sophia.” Under the spout is a medallion containing the script initials “LS.” Below the medallion is a small print of the Great Seal of the United States. Printed on the reverse is 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. This print is drawn from the legend of a map of the United States published by John Wallis of London in 1783. Around the lip of the pitcher is an ornate black ink design. Robert H. McCauley purchased the pitcher from Mrs. Frank Nichols of Marblehead, MA on August 24, 1939 for $80.00.
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
polychrome (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic, earthenware, refined (overall material)
transfer printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 11 3/8 in x 9 3/4 in x 6 7/8 in; 28.8925 cm x 24.765 cm x 17.4625 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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