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Ewer Sacred to Neptune: MAR.C.1A-1912

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Ewer Sacred to Neptune


Factory: Wedgwood
Designer: Flaxman, John, Sr.




Black basalt, moulded. Of antique ewer form standing on square plinth. The ewer for water (A) has with a triton holding the neck, a dolphin's head on the shoulder at the front, and on each side, a swag of aquatic leaves.The plinth is decorated with panels of interlacing branches. The plinth, foot and vase is held together by a rod, disk, and nut.


History note: Unknown before testator, Charles Brinsley Marlay (1831-1912)

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

Base: 11.2 cm
Height: 40 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Etruria ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1912) by Marlay, Charles Brinsley


18th Century, Late
George III
Circa 1780 CE - 1860 CE


The design for this ewer and its pair probably originated in a pair of plaster vases, one decorated with a triton and one with a satyr, symbolizing water and wine, exhibited at the Académie de Saint-Luc in Paris in 1774 by Sigisbert-François Michel (1728-1811), nephew of Claude Michel, known as Clodion (1738-1814). John Flaxman Senior (1726-95) provided designs and plaster models for the Wedgwood vases, and invoiced Josiah Wedgwood on 25 March, 1775 (CHECK is this 3 January 1775 the date given in VAM cat 1995) for 'A pair of Vases, one with a satyr & the other with a Triton Handle £3.3s.' (Wedgwood Archives, University of Keele, L1-204). The plasters are in the Wedgwood Archives. Flaxman's drawing for the ewer 'Sacred to Neptune' (Wedgwood Archives, no. 4548)

The form is no. 236 in the Wedgwood Shape Book (54.30019) where they were described as 'Marine & Satyr Handles & Ewer Sacred/to Neptune & Bacch-us'. They are also in the Shape Book water-marked 1794 rebound in 1916. They sold at 42/- ( 2 guineas) in black and 105/- (5 guineas) in jasper. They were still in production in 1878, see The Wedgwood Illustrated Catalogue of Ornamental Shapes 1878.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production

Black basalt

Techniques used in production

Moulding : The plinth, foot and vase is held together by a rod, disk and nut

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: WEDGWOOD/O
  • Location: On the plinth
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Factory mark
  • Text: 236
  • Location: On the plinth
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Number

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.C.1A-1912
Primary reference Number: 11147
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Ewer Sacred to Neptune" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-19 19:45:34

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