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Bust of Purity: C.11-1984

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Bust of Purity


Factory: Copeland
Sculptor: Noble, Matthew




Parian porcelain, slip cast. Bust of a young girl with her head turned to her right and tilted downwards. Her long wavy hair falls down on to her shoulders at the back, and she has a small lily on the right side of the drape over her right shoulder.


History note: Malcolm Clark, Pembroke Street, Cambridge

Legal notes

Bought with the J.R.V. Smyth Fund

Measurements and weight

Height: 33.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Stoke-on-Trent ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1984-03-12) by Clark, Malcolm


19th Century, third quarter#
Victoria I
Production date: circa AD 1869


After the head of 'Purity', a full-length marble statue of 1859 by Matthew Noble (1818-1876). The bust of 'Purity' was advertised in the 'Art Journal' in March 1870, for 1guinea, having been preceded by a statuette in 1868. The Crystal Palace Art-Union was founded by Henry Battam of Copeland's in 1858 and was associated with the Crystal Palace. In 1865 it was renamed the Ceramic and Crystal Palace Art-Union. Purity was particularly appropriate as the 'special purpose of' the Union 'was to produce and circulate pure and beautiful examples of British Art Manufacture'.

Materials used in production

Parian (porcelain)

Techniques used in production

Slip casting : Parian porcelain, slip cast

Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On back
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: 11/S is written with a horizontal stroke like a fraction; the c of Sc is raised

  • Text: 'COPELAND 11/S' and 'COPYRIGHT/RESERVED' and 'M. NOBLE.Sc'
  • Location: On back continuing from inscription
  • Type: Factory mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.11-1984
Primary reference Number: 137169
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 8 September 2020 Last processed: Friday 29 September 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Bust of Purity" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-02 06:26:57

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{{cite web|url= |title=Bust of Purity |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-02 06:26:57|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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