Pitcher, "The Three Sisters"

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This creamware pitcher is decorated with two transfer prints—one with a maritime print of a ship under sail, and the other depicting Masonic symbols in a similar fashion to the Masonic tracing board. Underneath is the text “Lodge No.25” Under the spout is the name “P. Delano.” Unlike many of the pitchers in the collection, attribution of ownership in possible in this case. The pitcher likely belonged to Peleg Delano, captain of the ship Three Sisters from 1796-1797, and a member of the Masonic lodge in Sidney, Maine. Robert H. McCauley purchased this jug from H. Grossman of Boston, MA on September 16, 1940 for $115.00.
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: 10 5/8 in x 9 3/8 in x 7 in; 26.9875 cm x 23.8125 cm x 17.78 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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