Europe; United Kingdom; Great Britain; England; Staffordshire
Pitcher, ca. 1810
Refined earthenware (creamware); transfer printed with polychrome pigments and lead glaze
Overall: 10 in x 9 9/16 in x 7 1/4 in; 25.4 cm x 24.3 cm x 18.4 cm
Joseph Allen Skinner Museum, Mount Holyoke College
MH SK 2006.487.INV
This large pitcher is decorated with an American trade ship above the banner Suc-cess to Trade accompanied by the Great Seal of the United States with a quote from Thomas Jefferson's first presidential inauguration speech. These pro-American themes reveal British ceramic manufacturers attempting to appeal to the hearts and wallets of American consumers. This trend began at a time of tentative relations between the two nations—just after the Revolution and before the War of 1812. The print on the verso entitled A Man of War towing a Frigate into Harbour portrays a British warship with what might be a seized American vessel – one of the issues that led to the War of 1812. If so, this would be an ironic illustration for the British manufactures to include on a pro-trade pitcher.
Give the customer what they want. These vessels, made in England but celebrating the new United States, reveal how British ceramic manufacturers appealed to the hearts and wallets of 19th-century American consumers. This trend began at a time of strained relations between the two nations—just after the Revolution and before the War of 1812. The image of the Nahant Hotel was originally reproduced in Caleb Snow’s 1825 History of Boston, and scenes like this one became a way for everyday Americans to celebrate their nation’s identity and history. Illustrating the mercantile accomplishments of the country, the pitcher is decorated with a merchantman accompanied by the Great Seal of the United States and a quote from Thomas Jefferson.