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A Seated Nun Reading: C.189-1918

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Object information

Titles

A Seated Nun Reading

Maker(s)

Possibly Bolton, John (Production)
Possibly Richard Chaffers & Co. (Factory)
Possibly Bolton, John (Decorator)

Description

Soft-paste porcelain figure of a Seated Nun Reading, slip-cast, but heavy, and painted overglaze in polychrome enamels.

Soft-paste porcelain figure of a Seated Nun Reading, slip-cast, but heavy, and painted overglaze in a little blue, pale and dark green, bluish-green, yellow, flsh-pink, puce-pink, red, brown, and black enamels. The unglazed underside has a central circular ventilation hole. The oval mound base is is slightly pointed at the front. The nun is seated holding an open book in her hands. Her left leg is crossed over her right, and the foot (missing) projects over the edge. She wears a puce veil, a white habit decorated with sprays of roses and other flowers in 'Type A' style; a petticoat with a red frilled edge. Her book has a red binding and yellow-edged pages. The pages are inscribed in black. The page on her left is headed by a Crucifix, and the first line begins with a W in a rectangular frame; the rest of the inscription is incomprehensible. The front edge of the base is yellowish-green.

Notes

History note: Uncertain before donor

Legal notes

Given by Ralph Griffin, MA, FSA

Measurements and weight

Depth: 9.5 cm
Height: 12 cm
Width: 10 cm

Relative size of this object

10 cm12 cm9.5 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

  • Kentish Town ⪼ Middlesex ⪼ England
  • Liverpool ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1918) by Griffin, Ralph, MA, FSA

Dating

Mid-18th Century
George II
Circa 1755 CE - 1760 CE

Note

The place of production of this figure is uncertain. It was attributed to Chaffers' Liverpool factory, by the late Dr Bernard Watney, who considered that the flower painting, typical of a style known as 'Type A', was probably executed in a decorating establishment in the London area, possibly at Kentish Town. At the time it was not known that steatitic porcelain made by Chaffers in Liverpool was also made at Vauxhall. This figure is not among those which have since been attributed to Vauxhall. In 2018 Errol Manners suggested that the Seated Nun and a few other figures may have been made at Kentish town where there was a short-lived factory set up by John Bolton in 1755. Bolton had previously been employed at the Vauxhall factory, so it is likely that the porcelain made briefly at Kentish Town would be of similar type. But there is no firm evidence for what was produced there before it probably closed when its backer, William Kempson, and his partner Michael Alcock, button manufacturers in Birmingham, were declared bankrupt on 23 January 1756.

School or Style

Rococo

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( blue, pale and dark green, bluish-green, yellow, flsh-pink, puce-pink, red, brown, and black) Visible Areas composed of lead-glaze ( presumed lead)

Materials used in production

probably steatitic Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Slip-casting : Soft-paste porcelain, probably steatitic, slip-cast, but heavy, and painted overglaze in a little blue, pale and dark green, bluish-green, yellow, flsh-pink, puce-pink, red, brown, and black enamels. The unglazed underside has a central circular ventilation hole
Glazing (coating)

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.189-1918
Primary reference Number: 39315
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 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) "A Seated Nun Reading" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/39315 Accessed: 2022-07-05 09:51:37

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/39315 |title=A Seated Nun Reading |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-07-05 09:51:37|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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                        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">A Seated Nun Reading</figcaption>
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