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Ewer Sacred to Bacchus: MAR.C.1B-1912

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Ewer Sacred to Bacchus


Factory: Wedgwood
Designer: Flaxman, John, Sr.




Black basalt, moulded. Of antique ewer form standing on square plinth. The ewer for wine (B) is decorated with a satyr seated on the shoulder holding the neck, a goat's head on the shoulder at the front, and on each side, a swag of fruiting vine. The plinth is decorated with panels of interlacing branches. The plinth, foot and vase is held together by a rod, disk, and nut. A pair with MAR.C.1A-1912.


History note: Unknown before testator

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

Base: 11x11.2 cm
Height: 40.5 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 - 1850 CE


John Flaxman Senior (1726-95) provided designs and plaster models for the ewers and invoiced Josiah Wedgwood in 1775 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.

The design 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). See Documentation.

The ewers were no. 236 in the Wedgwood Shape Book (54.30019) where they were described as 'Marine & Satyr Handles & Ewer Sacred/to Neptune & Bacchus'. 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, when included in 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 : Black basalt, moulded. 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.1B-1912
Primary reference Number: 11148
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 Bacchus" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-20 17:43:44

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{{cite web|url= |title=Ewer Sacred to Bacchus |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-20 17:43:44|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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