Overall: 10 1/4 x 9 x 6 1/2 in. ( 26 x 22.9 x 16.5 cm )
Pearlware pitcher, wide and high spout with wavy lip, broken scroll handle, and molded bead above foot; purple transfer printed flower and scroll border on lip, handle and foot; view of Benjamin Franklin's experiments with electricity repeated twice on body.
Long before Benjamin Franklin garnered fame as a statesman and diplomat, he was renowned for his revolutionary scientific work, particularly his experiments with lightning and electricity. Working as a printer in Philadelphia during the 1730s, Franklin became fascinated by lightning storms and often related their "mischievous" effects in his newspaper. In 1752, Franklin performed his seminal electrical experiment with a kite, harnessing electricity from the sky, and later that year installed the world's first lightning rods on the Pennsylvania State House and the Pennsylvania Academy. This pitcher is decorated with a depiction of Franklin's kite experiment in an idealized setting more evocative of medieval Europe than 1750s Philadelphia.
Gift of Dr. Arthur H. Merritt
The Dr. Arthur H. Merritt Collection of Anglo-American Historical Staffordshire
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.