Made in Brooklyn, New York, New York, United States
8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm)
Gift of Jay and Emma Lewis, 2013
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
The mid-nineteenth century porcelain manufactory of Charles Cartlidge and Company in Greenpoint, Brooklyn produced a variety of slip-cast wares for the middle class market. The firm offered a wide array of forms which included tablewares and pitchers, along with mundane, everyday objects (inkstands, paper weights, spittoons, etc.) to highly specialized items. Among the company’s favorite designs are the relief-molded pitchers of either corn and cornstalks or oak leaves and acorns. The most significant Cartlidge pitchers are those with shields and inscribed with names, often made for tradesmen or saloon keepers. Inscribed "CAPT. C. A. WOOLSEY" in the shield, this presentation pitcher was made for Captain Charles Augustus Woolsey (1809–1877), Superintendent of the ferries of the Pennsylvania Railway Company, and perhaps given to him to mark a milestone in his career or to celebrate some other achievement. This example appears to be unique with its applied handle in the form of an anchor, fully in relief and highly sculptural. This pitcher may have been a special commission for Woolsey and the anchor a symbolic nod to his business in the shipping industry.