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Pitcher with Masonic Symbols
ca. 1800
Maker not marked
England: Staffordshire
Transfer-printed earthenware
Overall: 8-1/2"h x 6-1/2"w x 9-1/2"d (spout to handle)
Special Acquisitions Fund

Pitcher with Masonic coat of arms with inscription "The World is in pain the secret to a Free and Accepted Mason"; reverse shows bridge, boats and "A South East View of the Iron Bridge of Wear near Sunderland/ Cast Iron 214 tons/ Wrought 46J/ Span 236/ Height 100".

Barrel-shaped pitcher with underglazed black striping and transfer-printed designs on canary yellow glazed creamware. The armorial arms of the Moderns with figures of the Master and Wardens appear above the rhyme, "The World is in pain the secret to gain for a Free and Accepted Mason." There is also a view of a trestle bridge with sailing vessels in the river beneath. In the center is an oval medallion titled, "A South East View of the Iron Bridge of Wear near Sunderland first stone was laid by R. Burdon Esq. M.P. Sept 24, 1793 & open'd the 9th of Aug '96" and "Cast Iron 214 tons Wrought 46 do. Span 326 feet Height 100 do." At the base of the imprint, within a swagged border, are the initials "EA" in script. When completed in 1796, Iron Bridge was the longest single-span, cast-iron bridge in the world. Construction of the bridge was promoted by Rowland Burdon, a prominent and ardent Mason. Twenty-two different transfers of this bridge are known and outnumber all other designs used on Sunderland ware. For further information, see Hamilton, "Material Culture of the American Freemasons," 1994, p. 222.

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