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'Madras' ewer: C.8-2013

Object information

Current Location: In storage


'Madras' ewer


Factory: Copeland




Bone china, of 'Madras' shape, decorated with jewelling in turquoise, green, pink, red and white enamels within gilded borders reserved in a dark blue ground, and gildng overall on the handle and inside of the neck

Bone china, decorated with dark blue ground colour, jewelling in blue, green, pink, red, and white enamels, and with silvering (now grey) and gilding. The ewer is of 'Madras' shape, with a globular body standing on a footring, a slender cylindrical neck which expands slightly towards the rim, and a double wavy handle attached to the upper neck and to the top of the shoulder. The handle has an inward scroll at the top, five holes in its back, and is divided into two at the lower end. The body and neck are covered by an ornate repeating design of jewelled scrolls enclosing silver fan-motifs, and stylized foliage, all outlined in tooled gold on a dark blue ground. There are horizontal bands of jewelled scrolls between bands of white beading round the upper and lower ends of the neck. The footring, the handle and the inside of the neck are gilded overall.


History note: Ronald S. Copeland (1918-2002); William Copeland (b. 1966); Bonham’s 23-24 July, 2013, The Contents of Trelissick House including the Copeland China China Collection, Feock, Trelissick, Cornwall, day 2, lot lot 658

Legal notes

Purchased with the L.D. Cunliffe Fund

Measurements and weight

Height: 22.5 cm
Width: 17 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Stoke-on-Trent ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (2013-10-14) by Bonhams


19th Century, Mid#
Victoria I
Circa 1850 CE - 1851 CE


The decoration may have been inspired by a design entitled 'JEWEL EMBROIDERY/(style, old Italian)' by Charles James Richardson, published in his 'Studies of Ornamental Design', 1851, and said to have been taken from an Italian painting.

The form of this ewer was described as 'Madras' shape by Copeland, may have been derived from an Indian vase, pūrṇaghaṭa, known as a ‘full vase’ or ‘vase of abundance’, a decorative motif in Buddhist and Indian art. The earliest Copeland example appears to be this ewer which was made for the Great Exhibition of 1851. The factory also made vases of similar form which did not have handles.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel gold

Materials used in production

clear Glaze
Bone china

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: interlaced Cs over COPELAND
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Printed in green
  • Type: Factory mark
  • Text: RSC/74
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in red ink or paint
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: circular white paper stick-on label

  • Text: RSC/74
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in blue biro
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: circular white paper stick-on-label with scalloped edge

  • Text: R.S.C./74
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in blue ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.8-2013
Primary reference Number: 197411
Old object number: R.S.C. 74
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 22 October 2013 Updated: Friday 15 December 2023 Last processed: Friday 15 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) "'Madras' ewer" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-16 03:49:15

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{{cite web|url= |title='Madras' ewer |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-16 03:49:15|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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