Skip to main content

Copy of the Portland Vase: C.2-1904

An image of Vase

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Copy of the Portland Vase


Factory: Wedgwood




Jasper, white with violet-blue wash on the exterior and white reliefs; interior and base without wash. Squat ovoid body with incurved neck and everted rim, with two elbowed handles, and disk base. Decorated with two scenes separated by bearded male masks below the handles. Reading from left to right: 1. Two square pillars supporting an architrave, behind which is a small shrub. In front of it, a nude young man holding a drape behind him in his right hand, steps forward to take the arm of a woman, partly draped, who sits on the ground, looking back at him, and has a snake in her lap. Eros, holding a bow in his left hand and a torch in his right, flies overhead looking back to the young man. A bearded man stands in three-quarter profile to left, with his right foot on a heap of stones in front of a tree. He rests his chin on his right hand and his right elbow on his right thigh. To the right, behind him is slender tree. 2. A square pillar with a capital, beside which sits a nude young man on a heap of rocks. He has a drape over his right leg, and looks to the right towards a woman, who reclines on layered rocks in front of a tree. Her lower body is draped, and she holds a torch pointing downards in her left hand and has her right hand on her head. In front of her is a square stone with central hole and chamfered edge. On the right is a seated nude woman, seated on a separate heap of rocks, looking back towards the other two figures. She is partly draped, and holds a sceptre in her left hand. On the base, a spray of foliage above the head of a young man in profile to right, wearing a Phrygian cap, and a cloak, and having his right forefinger to his lips.


History note: Unknown before donor

Legal notes

Given by C.J. Clay

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 19.4 cm
Height: 26.7 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Etruria ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1904-03) by Clay, C.J.


19th Century, Late#
Circa 1877 - 1904


The date of this vase is uncertain. It cannot be one of the cheap edition of 1839 because that had reliefs moulded with the body and the background enamelled. The 1877 edition was of only 15 copies and was of high quality. Later editions, except the Barnard ed. of 1923-30 lack the medallion on the base, so presumably this was made between 1877 and its donation. Public interest in the Portland Vase was revived when it was smashed by a visitor to the British Museum in 1845. For the earlier Wedgwood copy, see C.20-1980. was also reproduced in silver and silver-gilt, see Documentation.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work


Materials used in production

white with blue dip Jasper ware

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: WEDGWOOD
  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: 53/-'or S3/-

  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: In pencil
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.2-1904
Primary reference Number: 11479
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Saturday 19 September 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Copy of the Portland Vase" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-22 18:05:08

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Copy of the Portland Vase |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-22 18:05:08|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="Copy of the Portland Vase"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Copy of the Portland Vase</figcaption>

More objects and works of art you might like

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...