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Apollo playing the Harp, with Python: C.3170-1928

Object information


Apollo playing the Harp, with Python


Meissen Porcelain Factory (Factory)
Kändler, Johann Joachim (Modeller)


Hard-paste porcelain, painted in enamels, and gilded

Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, painted overglaze in blue (minute amount), green, yellow, pink, red, pale purple, purple, pale and dark brown, and black enamels, and gilded. The flat closed underside is unglazed. The round low mound base is decorated with applied green leaves and eight flowers (yellow, blue, purple and white). At the back it rises up into a rock, and three olive tree stumps: one behind the rock (broken off), and one on either side of it, each having four short branches at the top bearing leaves and black olives (one on each broken off). Apollo sits on the rock with his left leg advanced, holding his lyre in his left hand and playing it with his right. He leans slightly to his left and looks towards his right. He has a laurel wreath over his pale brown hair and as delicately coloured features. His white cloak has a gold edge, and is caught up on the right shoulder with circular brooch with a red cabochon stone. His harp is coloured brown and gold, and a quiver full of arrows with purple flights hangs from a red strap on the tree stump on his right. The dragon, Python, pierced by an arrow, lies on the base on Apollo's right. It is painted in shades of pale yellow and purple with darker purple and black spots and red jaws and tongue.


History note: Purchased frrom Mr Cubit (?)'s shop, near the station in Ipswich on 7 October 1922 for £6.6s.0d.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 14.8 cm
Height: 19.5 cm
Width: 16.5 cm

Relative size of this object

16.5 cm19.5 cm14.8 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: Bequeathed (1928-12-07) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


Mid 18th Century
Friedrich August III
Circa 1745 - 1750


This model is the 213th listed (but not numbered) in Kaendler’s 'Taxa' (list of models made in overtime with payments between mid 1739 and end of 1746) under 5 March, 1745. Apollo's instrument is described as a harp rather than as a lyre.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( blue (minute amount), green, yellow, pink, red, pale purple, purple, pale and dark brown, and black) gold Visible Surface composed of glaze ( clear) Base Diameter 14.3 cm
Visible Surfaces

Materials used in production

Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, assembled, glazed, painted overglaze in blue (minute amount), green, yellow, pink, red, pale purple, purple, pale and dark brown, and black enamels, and gilded. The flat closed underside is unglazed.

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.3170-1928
Primary reference Number: 140232
Old object number: 3963
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 14 October 2016 Last processed: Sunday 28 November 2021

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) "Apollo playing the Harp, with Python" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-05-28 21:19:09

Citation for Wikipedia

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

{{cite web|url= |title=Apollo playing the Harp, with Python |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-05-28 21:19:09|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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