The Longfellow Jug. Josiah Wedgwood & Sons for Richard Briggs, 1880.


Courtesy National Park Service, Longfellow National Historic Site LONG 5829

"Kéramos" and its celebration of cosmopolitanism in the arts was the inspiration behind this pitcher, adorned with an oval portrait of the bearded Longfellow on its front and a seven-line excerpt from Longfellow's poem on its back.

Printed on the underside in underglaze black is the inscription: "Manufactured by Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Etruria / For / Richard Briggs / Boston / Registered in Great Britain / and France / Also in the / United States." Briggs (1829-1893), who had commissioned the jug (the precursor of many commemorative plates, cigar box labels, busts, bookends, inkwells, and cardboard models of Craigie House) in 1880 as a Christmas present for Longfellow, was a china decorator and pottery dealer on 137 Washington Street in Boston.