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A map-seller: C.26-1954

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


A map-seller


Factory: Meissen Porcelain Factory




Hard-paste porcelain painted in enamels

Hard-paste porcelain, painted in blue, yellowish-green, yellow, pale yellow, flesh-pink, pale mauve, dark puce, a little red, reddish-brown, brown, and black enamels, and gilt. The figure is supported on a low circular mound base decorated with applied flowers and leaves, and having a tree stump to the left at the back. The map seller stands on his left leg with his right advanced. With his right hand he holds out a map of the British Isles, pained in mauve with a dark puce outlines, and in the lower proper right corner figures of Mercury and Britiannia with a bale of merchandize. Under his left arm he carries a white band box. On his back, slung from his shoulders by yellow straps, he carries a mottled-brown cabinet with nine drawers, on top of which is a black hold-all secured by a broad cream-coloured strap. He wears a black hat with a turned up brim and white ribbon; a blue coat with gold buttons and yellow lining; a white cravat; a reddish-brown waistcoat with black floral pattern and gold buttons; partly hidden by black braces; pale yellow breeches, white stockings and black shoes.


History note: Bought from Heinz Horwitz, Berlin, on 6 December 1933 for £25 by Cecil Vavasseur, 2nd Baron Fisher of Kilverstone (1868-1955); Lord and Lady Fisher

Legal notes

Given by Lord and Lady Fisher through the National Art Collections Fund (now The Art Fund)

Measurements and weight

Height: 16.9 cm
Width: 10 cm

Relative size of this object

10 cm16.9 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Meissen ⪼ Saxony ⪼ Germany

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1954-01-14) by Fisher, Lord and Lady


Mid 18th Century
Circa 1750 CE - 1755 CE


This model was based on the first print of the third set of Etudes prises dans le bas peuple ou les Cris de Paris, issued in 1738, engraved by the comte de Caylus (1692-1765) after drawings by Edmé Bouchardon (1689-1762) . It is smaller than the first figure modelled after this engraving in 1744. Unusually, the map seller holds a map of the British Isles.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( blue, green, yellow, pink, red, purple, brown, and black) gold

Materials used in production

Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, glazed, and painted in blue, yellowish-green, yellow, pale yellow, flesh-pink, pale mauve, dark puce, a little red, reddish-brown, brown, and black enamels, and gilt
Glazing (coating)

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: scarcely discernable

  • Text: crossed swords
  • Location: Underneath the base
  • Method of creation: In blue
  • Type: Factory mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.26-1954
Primary reference Number: 140189
Old catalogue number: 352
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 6 September 2021 Last processed: Friday 11 November 2022

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 (2022) "A map-seller" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-07 04:43:51

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=A map-seller |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-07 04:43:51|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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