Wartime pitcher featuring an image of and quotes by Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill
England: Copeland/Spode, 1941. This is a handsome piece of Churchilliana, an illustrated jug produced by Copeland/Spode in 1941. It was produced under wartime restrictions. One side of the pitcher features a cameo of Churchill with a warship to his left, a tank to his right, and a fighter aircraft above him. In an arc above the aircraft – slightly misquoted – is a line from Churchill’s 13 May 1940 speech: “ALL I CAN OFFER IS BLOOD, TOIL, TEARS, AND SWEAT.” Below Churchill’s image is a ribbon bearing a quote from his speech of 20 August 1940: “NEVER IN THE FIELD OF HUMAN CONFLICT WAS SO MUCH OWED BY SO MANY TO SO FEW”.
This is a superior example, in fine condition, clean inside and out with no appreciable soiling, no chips, and only modest crazing, visible under raking light.
The pitcher was likely created by the company’s own designers, since no particular artist is credited with it in Spode’s records. There were various iterations of the pitcher, with the side described above constant but the other side of the pitcher varying significantly in appearance. This pitcher is Pattern F448, identified by a bulldog on a Union Flag bestriding a globe with the British Empire shown in dark color. Over and under the design is the February 1941 exchange of quotes between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill. In a ribbon below the globe, Roosevelt quotes Longfellow: “SAIL ON, O SHIP OF STATE! | SAIL ON O UNION STRONG AND GREAT | HUMANITY WITH ALL ITS FEARS | WITH ALL THE HOPES OF FUTURE YEARS | IS HANGING BREATHLESS ON THY FATE!” Churchill’s reply appears above and to the left of the globe: “GIVE US THE TOOLS. | AND WE WILL FINISH THE JOB!”
This particular example is the one for the U.S.A. market, approximately 6.5 inches tall with a 4 inch diameter opening. The bottom bears the "COPELAND" maker's mark as well as the words "U.S.A. DESIGN | PATENT PENDING". The rear design is an interesting study in Transatlantic sensitivities. "The UK design featured crossed British and American flags. The original crossed flag design conforms to conventional flag etiquette, with the home country's on the left; but American usage would require the Stars and Stripes at left." Hence just the bulldog astride the Union Jack. "The Spode Museum believes this consideration caused the bulldog design to be substituted, though Spode might have done better to keep the original. That globe showing the Empire served nicely to remind Americans how much of the world belonged to Great Britain - not exactly the best way to influence the die-hard isolationists" among the American electorate and their elected representatives.
Please anticipate that packing and shipping this item with care may incur additional shipping cost.
Reference: Douglas Hall, Churchilliana, pp.146-7, Max Edward Hertwig’s article in Finest Hour, Issue 116, Autumn 2002, Page 36. Item #007410