Pitcher, "Death of Wolfe"

The transfer printed creamware pitcher is decorated with a print based on the painting The Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West. Under the spout are the script initials “SV.” On the reverse is a pastoral scene with ancient ruins in the background. On the bottom of the pitcher is the mark of Josiah Wedgwood, the famous Staffordshire County pottery owner. This pitcher likely dates to the late 1790s. Robert H. McCauley purchased this jug from Ginsberg and Levy of New York, NY on June 17, 1939 for $75.00.
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
black (inscription text color)
monochrome, black (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic, earthenware, coarse (overall material)
transfer printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 9 1/2 in x 9 3/4 in; 24.13 cm x 24.765 cm
overall: 9 7/8 in x 10 in x 6 1/2 in; 25.0825 cm x 25.4 cm x 16.51 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England, Staffordshire
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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