Pitcher, "Battle of Stonington"

This earthenware pitcher features a transfer print of the Battle of Stonington, Connecticut. The battle began on August 9 and lasted until August 12, 1814 as part of the War of 1812. The people of Stonington stayed in their homes and defended their town with two 18 pound cannons and one six pound cannon against five British warships. The heavily outgunned Stonington citizens survived four days of bombardment, forcing the British squadron to withdraw. This small but stunning victory inspired the country, commemorated in poems and prints such as the one featured on this pitcher. Robert H. McCauley purchased this pitcher from Albert Rider of Brookline, MA on July 11, 1941 for $40.00.
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
Object Name
Physical Description
monochrome, black (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic (overall material)
transfer printed (joint piece production method/technique)
overall: 9 1/4 in x 8 3/4 in; 23.495 cm x 22.225 cm
overall: 9 1/4 in x 8 7/8 in x 6 in; 23.495 cm x 22.5425 cm x 15.24 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England, Liverpool
ID Number
catalog number
collector/donor number
accession 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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