Cream pitcher inscribed "Shakers Mt. Lebanon NY"
New York, Mount Lebanon
Union Porcelain Works
Small porcelain pitcher. The interior of the pitcher is solid white. The exterior showcases hand-painted decoration with transfer-printed text. The pitcher's shape bulges out from the base and tapers inward and opens back up as an hour-glass would. The mouth of the pitcher is lower where it meets the handle. As the mouth reaches the spout is lightly curves upward and back down to come to a point to make the spout. Underneath the spout is a floral design with a brown branch, green stem with dual-green leaves, and three blue flowers, which extends out in three directions. The shape of the pitcher's mouth is emphasized by its exterior border made up of two thin black lines with a light-green stripe approximately 1/4" wide in between the two black lines. The handle flows fluidly from the mouth of the pitcher upward and then sharply down connecting at the pitcher's widest point, creating an ear-like shape. The highest point of the handle is molded into a raised circle outlined in black with three half-circles inside progressively smaller in size. Along the outside of the handle two lines cup the circle and converge inward tapering to a point 1 1/4" from the end of the handle. At the base of the handle there is additional decorative molding 15/16" long. This too is outlined in black portraying a stylized leaf motif with three vein lines. On either side of the pitcher is light-green transfer-printed text, in all caps, which reads "SHAKERS / MT. LEBANON / N.Y.". The font of the text has a white outline giving the letters a three-dimensional quality when viewed up close. The text is framed by raised ridges in the porcelain traced in black, which starts thin at the bulge in the pitcher and crests upward and inward as the shape of the pitcher narrows. The black lines also have two short off-shoots each, approximately 1/8" long. In addition to the molding and text each side has a floral decorations with a brown branch, green stem with dual-green leaves and flowers. One sides floral decoration has three orange flowers, two with five petals each around yellow floral discs and a third with three small petals. The other sides floral design has three pink flowers, two with six petals each around a yellow floral disc and a third flower with three petals.
On October 12, 1886 Benjamin Gates, Cornelia French, and Mary Hazard of the Church family traveled to New York City to order plates from Union Porcelain Works. On February 20, 1887 a note in Anna Dodgsons journal refers to new plates with "Shaker & c". These are the only dishes marked with a community name.
New York Mount Lebanon Church Family