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The Fortune Teller: C.81-1950

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


The Fortune Teller


Factory: Bow Porcelain Manufactory
Modeller: 'The Muses Modeller'
Printer: Aveline, Pierre Alexandre (After)
Painter: Boucher, François (After)




Soft-paste porcelain containing bone ash, figure group of The Fortune Teller, press-moulded, and painted overglaze in polychrome enamels, and gilt.

Soft-paste porcelain containing bone ash, figure group of The Fortune Teller, press-moulded, and painted over lead-glaze in very pale greyish-blue, turquoise-green, green, pale yellow, orange, dark pink, puce, and black enamels, and gilt. The figures stand side by side on a low rocky base which rises up in the centre of the back to support them. The bearded fortune teller stands on the left with feet apart, bending over the right hand of the young woman, which he holds by the wrist in his left hand. The girl stands on the right with her left arm by her side, holding a now missing object. Between them is a rectangular object, perhaps a book. The fortune teller wears a wreath of leaves and berries on his head, a dark pink coat with yellow lining, turquoise breeches, and black boots with a gold border at the top. She has three flowers on top of her head, and wears a petticoat decorated with turquoise flowers and puce and gold leaves, a yellow open robe with an orange stomacher and cuffs, and a trailing garland of flowers and leaves passing over her right shoulder and diagonally across her back to her waist. The visible shoe is orange. There are two areas of green on the back of the base.


History note: Unknown before donor, Mrs W.D. (Frances Louisa) Dickson, Bournemouth

Legal notes

Given by Mrs W.D. Dickson

Measurements and weight

Length: 14.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Stratford-le-Bow ⪼ Essex ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1950-09) by Dickson, W. D. (Frances Louisa), Mrs


18th Century, Mid#
George II
Circa 1752 CE - 1755 CE


The group was derived from a print announced in the Mercure in April, 1738 by Pierre Alexandre Aveline (1702-60) after the painting 'La bonne aventure' by François Boucher (1703-77) for a Beauvais tapestry in the series 'The Italian Village Scenes'. A copy of the etched and engraved print is in the Victoria & Albert Museum (E.213-1889, Print Room, Box F.5.a). However, as the Bow figures are not transposed as they are in the print.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( greyish-blue, turquoise-green, green, pale yellow, orange, dark pink, puce, and black) gold
Girl Height 17.1 cm

Materials used in production

presumed lead Lead-glaze
presumed phosphatic Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Soft-paste porcelain containing bone ash, press-moulded, and painted overglaze in polychrome enamels, and gilt
Glazing (coating)

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.81-1950
Primary reference Number: 42161
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 24 January 2017 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 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 (2023) "The Fortune Teller" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-11-29 23:27:14

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=The Fortune Teller |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-11-29 23:27:14|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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