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Vase: C.36-2023

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Factory: Della Robbia Pottery




Red earthenware, slip coated and decorated with sgraffito and oxide colours.

Red earthenware coated in cream slip, with sgraffito decoration, painting in two shades of green and yellow, and lead-glaze. Of albarello form, with short narrow neck, sloping shoulders, and sides sloping out towards the bottom, and then curving inwards to the narrow footring. The exterior and inside of the neck have a pale green ground overall; the interior is cream. The neck is encircled by a row of upward pointing darker green leaves; on the shoulders there are linked trefoil leaves with three cream circles at intervals; on the sides, there are three garlands of lemons and foliage above three putti, two with wings and one holding a yellow drape; round the base, three large upward-pointing leaves alternate with a smaller leaves flanked by cream circles; a zig-zag border encircles the foot.

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Ian and Rita Smythe, 2023

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 11.4 cm
Height: 19.4 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Birkenhead ⪼ Cheshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (2023) by Smythe, Ian and Rita


19th Century, Late#
Victoria I
Production date: AD 1899


Cassandra Annie Walker (1875-1957) was a sculptor and ceramic artist born in Gateacre, Liverpool, the daughter of an accountant. She worked at Della Robbia throughout its life, gaining a distinction in ornamental design at Liverpool School of Architecture and Applied Art in 1896 and widely praised for her designs in ‘The Studio’ and other journals. Liz Wilkins, a decorator from c.1894 – 1904, was also complimented in the press for her work: ‘admirable in ornament and colour’. Arthur E. Bells joined the pottery at the age of 16, c.1896-97, but by 1901 had left to work for a local printer.

The Della Robbia Pottery, founded by Harold Rathbone and Conrad Dressler. From 1894 until closure in 1906 it produced a range of decorative ceramics in Art Nouveau style and influenced by 15th and 16th century Italian ceramics. Following the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement, pieces were hand thrown and decorated and individual decorators encouraged to mark their work. Typically, designs were set out in sgraffito over white slip and coloured with special fluid colours, formed from pigments mixed with water and gum arabic, which blended with the glaze to give exceptionally bright hues.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of metallic oxides ( two shades of green and yellow)
Foot Diameter 7.3 cm

Materials used in production

cream Slip
red Earthenware

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: D simple ship R
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Sgraffito
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: A and E joined

  • Text: AEB
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Sgraffito
  • Type: Decorator's mark

Inscription present: C looks like a 6 and W is rounded rather than angular

  • Text: CW
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Incised and painted
  • Type: Decorator's mark
  • Text: LW
  • Location: On base below ship mark
  • Method of creation: Painted in dark green
  • Type: Painter's mark

Inscription present: below has a slanting line, two dots and another slanting line

  • Text: 1899
  • Location: On base below AEB mark
  • Method of creation: Painted in dark green
  • Type: Date

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.36-2023
Primary reference Number: 226582
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 5 March 2019 Updated: Tuesday 16 January 2024 Last processed: Tuesday 16 January 2024

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) "Vase" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-28 15:38:00

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{{cite web|url= |title=Vase |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-02-28 15:38:00|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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