Pitcher, "Liberty"

Pitcher, "Liberty"

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This small jug is unusual due to its completely hand painted designs. Painted on the front of the jug is the Great Seal of the United States. On the opposite side is the word “Liberty” in front of crossed flags and a liberty cap and pole. Remnants of hand painting also exist on the lip and spout of this jug. Painted flowers decorate the sides. The amount of hand painting on this jug makes it rare even though the subject matter is rather generic. Glued to the inside of the jug is a paper label as well as a newspaper clipping. Handwritten on the label is, “Presented to Helen A V Blanchard As a gift of remembrance from her grandmother in her 87th yr 1862 Died July 25th 1866.” The newspaper clipping includes the death notice of Blanchard’s grandmother: “In Cumberland Centre, July 25, Mrs Abigail, widow of David Buxton, aged 91 years 1 month 22 days.” It is unclear which newspaper this is from because it is just a clipping.Robert H. McCauley purchased this jug from Richard H. Wood of Baltimore, MD on September 3, 1946 for $65.00.
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. This pitcher is atypical in its lack of transfer print design. 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, Stoke-on-Trent
Physical Description
black (inscription text color)
polychrome (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic (overall material)
hand painted (joint piece production method/technique)
overall: 7 3/4 in x 7 3/4 in x 5 1/4 in; 19.685 cm x 19.685 cm x 13.335 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
Government, Politics, and Reform
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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