Pitcher, "The Sailors Return"

Pitcher, "The Sailors Return"

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This earthenware pitcher is decorated with a transfer print of a sailor with his wife and child on one side and an American ship under sail on the other. Both transfer prints have been colored. The image of “The Sailors Return” is accompanied with the poem—“I now the joys of life renew and find wife who’s kin and true From care and trouble free to drive life cares away.” Under the spout is a print of the Great Seal of the United States with the most famous line of Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address (1801) below it: “Peace, Commerce, and honest Friendship with all Nations. Entangling Alliances with none- JEFFERSON / Anno Domini 1802.”
According to Success to America: Creamware for the American Market, the style of the pitcher can be attributed to Francis Morris of Shelton, Staffordshire County, England probably printed this pitcher. Robert H. McCauley purchased this pitcher from Joseph Kindig, Jr. of York, PA on August 5, 1938 for $100.
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
polychrome (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic, earthenware, refined (overall material)
transfer printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 10 in x 10 3/8 in x 7 1/4 in; 25.4 cm x 26.3525 cm x 18.415 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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