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The Muse Erato: C.3172-1928

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


The Muse Erato


Factory: Meissen Porcelain Factory
Modeller: Kändler, Johann Joachim




Hard-paste porcelian, painted in polychrome enamels

Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, glazed, and painted in two shades of green, yellow, flesh pink, dark pink, red, a little purple, brown, grey, and black enamels, and lightly gilt. The flat underside is unglazed and has a round ventilation hole in the middle. The circular low mound base rises up into a rock in the centre and at the back has a tall laurel tree with seven short branches bearing green leaves and black berries. The back of the rock is inscribed 'Erato'. The ground and rock are strewn with applied green leaes and yellow, red and white and purple and white flowers. The Erato sits on the rock with her left leg over her right. Her head is turned slightly to her left, and she holds a violin in her left hand and a bow in her right. On her left knee she balances a music book with a red binding. She has a wreath of leaves and yellow flowers over her grey hair, and wears a white, sleeved tunic, which reveals her right bosom, a yellow sash, and a green cloak with a grey floral pattern, lined with dark pink and edged by a gold line. A hurdy-gurdy lies on the base to her left and a few sheets of white parchment to her right.


History note: Purchased at a shop in Brighton in a road leading to Kemp Town on 23 September 1920 for £215.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest, 1928

Measurements and weight

Height: 26 cm
Width: 18 cm

Relative size of this object

18 cm26 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) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


Mid 18th Century
Production date: circa AD 1745


The Taxa recording Kaendler's overtime work includes in November 1744, a model of Erato playing a violin seated beneath a laurel tree accompanied by Cupid for Friedrich II, King of Prussia.

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( two shades of green, yellow, flesh pink, pink, red, a little purple, brown, grey, and black) gold
Visible Surfaces composed of glaze
Base Diameter 14 cm

Materials used in production

Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded, glazed, and painted in two shades of green, yellow, flesh pink, pink, red, a little purple, brown, grey, and black enamels, and lightly gilt

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: script E

  • Text: Erato
  • Location: Back of rock
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.3172-1928
Primary reference Number: 140233
Old object number: 3964
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 16 July 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 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) "The Muse Erato" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-09 19:48:28

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=The Muse Erato |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-09 19:48:28|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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