Heathen Chenee Pitcher Modeler: Karl L. H. Mueller (American, born Germany, 1820–1887)
Manufacturer: Union Porcelain Works (American, 1863–ca. 1922)


American Decorative Arts

On view, 1st floor, American Decorative Arts before 1900

Union Porcelain Works was one of the important ceramic firms in the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century. Pitchers of this form were among their most popular articles. The firm exhibited an example at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The scene of Bill Nye and Ah Sin comes from Bret Harte's poem "Heathen Chinee," the subject of which is the discrimination against Chinese laborers who had immigrated to the United States in large numbers.


Porcelain with overglaze painting and gilding


9 5/8 × 5 3/4 in. (24.4 × 14.605 cm)
other (with handle): 10 5/8 in. (26.988 cm)

Credit Line

Bequest of Doris M. Brixey, by exchange

Accession Number



19th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



With Joe Butler (Joan Bogart, dealer), Tarrytown, N.Y. by 1999; sold to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1999

  • Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 290, no. 181, ill.
  • Pier Giovanni Guzzo, Pompeii: Tales From An Eruption, exh. cat. (Birmingham, Alabama: Birmingham Museum of Art, 2007), 12, ill.
  • "Acquisitions, 1999," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2000): 162.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type



U.P.W. incised on barrel end; UNION PORCELAIN WORKS/GREENPOINT/N.Y. in yellow on the bottom

Technical metadata and APIs


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