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Ariadne on the Panther or Voluptuousness: C.23-2014

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Ariadne on the Panther or Voluptuousness


Factory: Minton




Parian porcelain, slip cast

Creamy-white parian porcelain, slip cast and assembled. The figures are supported on a rectangular base with slightly sloping sides and indentations suggesting it is rocky. The panther is walking to the right with its left fore and hind legs forward, its tail between its hind feet, and its head turned towards the viewer, baring its fangs. The nude Ariadne is seated on its back with her right leg extended and her left bent. Her head is in profile, and she rests her left fore arm on the panther's head. With her left hand she holds up a long drape which extends down to the base at the front, over the panther's back beneath her legs, and down to the back of the base.


History note: Unknown before donor

Legal notes

Given by Brian Coleman

Measurements and weight

Depth: 14.3 cm
Height: 36.7 cm
Length: 30.5 cm

Relative size of this object

30.5 cm36.7 cm14.3 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

  • Stoke-on-Trent ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2014-11-24) by Coleman, Brian


Mid 19th century
Victoria I
Production date: dated AD 1852


Parian, a feldspathic porcelain (containing felspar, with china clay and china stone from Cornwall) , was developed by Minton and Copeland about 1845. It was well-suited to the slip-casting technique used for figure manufacture, and had a creamy-white surface which resembled marble, making it an ideal medium for reduced-size models of classical or later sculpture. Minton exhibited its Parian porcelain group of 'Ariadne on the Panther' or 'Voluptuousness' at the Society of Arts in 1847, and at the Great Exhibition in 1851, when it was paired with a new model of 'Una and the Lion' or 'Purity' (of which the Fitzwilliam has an example, C.1-1973). It was probably modelled by the well-known sculptor, John Bell (1811/12-1895) , after the large marble completed in 1814 by Johann Heinrich von Dannecker (1758-1841), one version of which is in the Liebieghaus museum in Frankfurt.

School or Style


Materials used in production

soft-paste porcelain Parian (porcelain)

Techniques used in production

Slip casting : Parian porcelain slip cast in parts and assembled

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: inverted arrow with three dots below

  • Text: ermine mark
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: script N

  • Text: 3-52 N 163
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: x
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Maker's mark
  • Text: 388/24
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in pencil
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.23-2014
Primary reference Number: 200088
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 20 January 2015 Updated: Tuesday 13 October 2020 Last processed: Thursday 8 April 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 (2023) "Ariadne on the Panther or Voluptuousness" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-01-27 12:45:17

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{{cite web|url= |title=Ariadne on the Panther or Voluptuousness |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-01-27 12:45:17|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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