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Bust of George II (ruled 1727-60): C.7-1951

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Bust of George II (ruled 1727-60)


Factory: Bow Porcelain Manufactory (Probably)
Factory: Vauxhall Porcelain Factory (Perhaps)
Factory: Richard Chaffers & Co. (Perhaps)




Soft-paste porcelain bust of George II, bewigged, and wearing armour, the Garter Star, and a cloak draped about his shoulders and fastened with an oval cabochon brooch, supported on an associated black marble socle

Soft-paste porcelain bust of George II, press-moulded, and coated inside and outside with very pale greyish-blue lead-glaze. The glaze has many brown speckles. The back of the bust below the shoulders is open, and the marks of paring away of the clay to make the wall thinner are visible. The narrow base has a large circular hole to facilitate its attachment to a socle. A small shallow fragment from another object has adhered to the underside of the right shoulder. The King faces front with his head turned three-quarters to his left. He has a long curling wig, and wears a shirt and neckcloth under armour, the breastplate of which is ornamented with scrolls and foliage. Over his left shoulder plate is the Star of the Order of the Garter, partly concealed by a cloak which is drawn in folds around his shoulders, and is held together above the Order by an oval cabochon brooch. The circular black marble socle is associated.


History note: Uncertain before Roger Francis Lambe (1872-1951), London

Legal notes

Bequeathed by R.F. Lambe

Measurements and weight

Height: 44.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Vauxhall ⪼ Middlesex ⪼ England
  • Liverpool ⪼ Surrey ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1951) by Lambe, Roger Francis


18th Century, Mid
George II
Circa 1745 CE - 1760 CE


Nineteen examples of this bust of George II (1683-1760) have been recorded. The Fitzwilliam's bust lacks both the socle found with some examples, and the rococo style wall bracket to support it, which is more rare. Their attribution is contentious. Since the 19th century they been variously attributed to Chelsea, Plymouth. Bow, Worcester, Chaffers Liverpool, and most recently Vauxhall. On accession this bust was attributed to Chelsea, although its glaze is unlike Chelsea porcelain. It was reattributed to Richard Chaffers' Factory, Liverpool, by Dr Bernard Watney in 1968. This reattribution rested on spectrographic analysis of two examples respectively in the British Museum and in Dr Watney's collection. These showed that the body contained soapstone (steatite), which suggested Liverpool as a possible place of manufacture. Worcester porcelain is also steatitic, but as that factory made very few figures the bust is unlikely to have been made there. More recently the Vauxhall factory which also made steatitic soft-paste, has been adopted as an alternative. Accepting any of these three attributions would place the busts' date of manufacture in the late 1740s or 1750s, as it seems unlikely that they were made after the King's death. Analysis of early products of the Bow factory have indicated that some of them contained steatite, and that therefore this bust might equally have been made by the Bow factory before its establishment in the New Canton factory in Essex. This would place its date in the mid 1740s when the King was popular after his participation in the Battle of Dettingen in 1743 and the defeat of the Stuart Rebellion of 1745-6. The two most recent publications on the busts, Bimson, 2011, and Daniels and Ramsay, 2013 weigh these possibilities, and give the current locations of the recorded examples.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Bust Height 34.8 cm Width 30.5 cm

Materials used in production

presumed lead, appearing pale greyish-blue especially inside Lead-glaze
probably steatitic Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Soft-paste porcelain (probably steatitic), press-moulded, and coated inside and outside with very pale greyish-blue lead-glaze, which has bubbled, particularly on the shoulders, and, here and there, where these have burst, small craters. The glaze also has many brown speckles. The back of the bust below the shoulders is open, and the narrow base has a large circular hole to facilitate its attachment to a socle. A small shallow glazed fragment, presumably from another object or prop has adhered to the underside of the right shoulder.
Glazing (coating)

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 8
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Factory mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.7-1951
Primary reference Number: 39296
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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