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This creamware bowl is decorated with a variety of transfer prints. Printed on the inside of the bowl is a portrait (mis)labeled “Commodore Parry” surrounded by an American flag, a shield, and an Indian. The interior edge of the bowl has 3five prints of naval and military instruments. Four prints decorate the outside of the bowl. The first print is a portrait of Benjamin Franklin wearing his famous beaver cap. Rococo flourishes flank the portrait with Franklin’s name and titles within the banners: “Benj.n Franklin LLD FRS.” The portrait of Franklin on this bowl is based on the 1777 drawing by French artist Charles Nicolas Cochin. Below the portrait is written, “Born at Boston in New England 17 Jan. 1706.” Second, is a portrait of George Washington dressed in his uniform that he wore as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. The print of Washington included on this bowl is copied from an engraving based on Pierre Eugene Du Simitière’s portrait of Washington executed in 1779. On both sides of the print are banners accented with Rococo-style flourishes. Included within the banners is the title “HIS EXCELLENCY / GENERAL WASHINGTON.” The other two prints are generic scenes of courtship. It is interesting to note that Commodore Perry is misidentified as “Parry.” The misspelling of certain names and states was a repeated error in creamware pitchers of this time period, likely due to their British origin. Robert H. McCauley received this bowl as a gift from Daisy D.D. Whipple on June 8, 1963.
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
place made
United Kingdom: England, Liverpool
Physical Description
monochrome, black (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic, earthenware, refined (overall material)
transfer printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 4 1/4 in x 10 1/8 in x 9 7/8 in; 10.795 cm x 25.7175 cm x 25.0825 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
collector/donor number
Credit Line
Robert H. McCauley
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Domestic Furnishings
McCauley Liverpool Pottery
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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