The pitcher is decorated to commemorate an event from the War of 1812, and scholar Robert Hunter notes that the decoration is specifically connected to Baltimore. Incised with cobalt blue slip on one side is a man in military uniform firing a pistol with an exaggerated trail of gunsmoke leading to a duck. The image commemorates an event that took place during the Battle of North Point as the British attacked Baltimore on September 12, 1814. During the battle, British Major General Robert Ross was killed by a shot fired from a considerable distance. The death of General Ross was one of many successes of American troops in the Battle of Baltimore. This battle is best known for the bombardment of the harbor where Francis Scott Key wrote the “Star Spangled Banner.” Colonel Arthur Brooke, who took over for the British following Ross’s death, later reported that he had heard a comment from an American that “our riflemen can shoot a DUCK through the head with a Single Ball at two hundred yards.” The death of General Ross seems to have gained much notoriety and the marksmanship of the American troops is memorialized in this pitcher’s imagery.
MAKER: Henry Remmey (1770-1865) moved to Baltimore in 1812 and began work at the Baltimore Stoneware Manufactory, owned and operated by the Myers family. The wares made in Baltimore by Remmey between 1812 and 1821 closely resemble those made in New York, with several similar features, including ovoid shapes with high-neck collars, loop handles, and incised cobalt blue decoration.
Zipp, Luke. “Henry Remmey & Sons, Late of New York: A Rediscovery of a Master Potter’s Lost Years.” CERAMICS IN AMERICA (2004) 143-156.
Zipp, Luke. “Baltimore Stoneware.” ANTIQUES AND FINE ART (Summer 2006) 154-158.