Barrell Family pitcher

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Barrell Family pitcher

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Ceramic pitcher made for the Barrell family around 1804 by an English ceramic works. This is one of twin pitchers that may have served as wedding gifts to the two daughters, Sally Sayward Barrell Keating Wood (1759-1855) and Ruth Barrell Sewall Arnold (1765-1848). Two scenes appear on either side of the pitcher to commemorate the life and moral philosophy of the family. One appears to show father Barrell with his three sons and mother Barrell with her six daughters. The inscription reads,
"Here books and work employ each moments time,
Unconscious both of folly or of crime
The wise directions of parental love
Rout out each vice and every month improve."

The scene on the side shown includes a young sailor embracing his love with a ship in the background, and to the side is an older couple near their home, It, and the verses that go with it, are meant to remind us that a new marriage means both independence and a fear of separation,
"While married love its varied days impart
Still anxious wishes fill a daughter's heart
And though to gayer scenes she now may rove
Her mind oft hovers around her native grove."

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About This Item

  • Title: Barrell Family pitcher
  • Creation Date: circa 1804
  • Subject Date: circa 1804
  • Town: York
  • County: York
  • State: ME
  • Media: Ceramic
  • Dimensions: 28 cm x 30 cm
  • Local Code: 2003.176
  • Object Type: Physical Object

For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x219

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