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John Milton (1608-74): C.49B-1918

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


John Milton (1608-74)


Factory: Derby Porcelain Factory
Proprietor: Robert Bloor & Co.
Sculptor: Scheemakers, Peter (Possibly after)
Sculptor: Cheere, John (Probably after)




Bone china figure of John Milton standing beside a pedestal painted in enamels and gilded

Bone china (?) figure of John Milton, slip-cast, lead-glazed, and painted in green, yellow, pink, flesh, red, purple, brown, enamels and gilt. The unglazed underside has a large central ventialation hole through the glazed interior can be seen. The rectangular base has cut corners and fluted sides, with gold lines on the upper and lower edges. Milton stands on the left, with his left leg forward, leaning on his left elbow on a pile of three books resting on a semi-circular pedestal decorated in relief with the Expulsion from Paradise. He holds his cloak around him with his right hand, and in his left holds a scroll. He has long wavy brown hair, brown eyebrows, ruddy cheeks and a red mouth. He wears a close-fitting jacket with gold decoration down the front, and gold buttons; breeches with gold buttons and a band at the knee, and shoes with gold bows. His long cloak has a pink lining and gold edges. The pedestal has three gold lines round the top and one round the bottom. The books are red and yellow, purple, and dark green and gold. The scroll is inscribed indistinctly in gold capital letters:


History note: Uncertain before donor, Ralph Griffin, MA, FSA (St John's College, Cambridge)

Legal notes

Given by Ralph Griffin, MA, FSA

Measurements and weight

Height: 25.5 cm
Width: 14 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Derby ⪼ Derbyshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1918-08-28) by Griffin, Ralph, MA, FSA


19th Century
George IV
Circa 1825 CE - 1828 CE


This is a late example of a figure which was made on a low scrolled base in the late 1750s,and later on a rectangular base with cut corners and fluted sides. The model for Milton may have been derived from a terracotta by Peter Scheemakers, now lost, but known from his sale catalogue of 8 May 1756, in which it was lot 23. Alternatively it may be an original composition by John Cheere, by whom there is a 20" high bronzed plaster dated 1749, at York City Art Gallery. See Documentation, Friedman (1974) and Lippert (1987) Bone china replaced soft-paste porcelain at Derby at an unknown date between 1810-15, initially for useful wares.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( green, yellow, pink, flesh, red, purple, brown) gold
Base Depth 7.6 cm Width 11 cm

Materials used in production

presumed lead-glaze Lead-glaze
probably Bone china

Techniques used in production

Slip-casting : Bone china (?), slip-cast, lead-glazed, and painted in green, yellow, pink, flesh, red, purple, brown, enamels and gilt. The unglazed underside has a large central ventialation hole through the glazed interior can be seen.
Glazing (coating)

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: a circular medallion with a crown in the centre and 'BLOOR/ DERBY' around it between concentric circles

  • Location: On underside of base
  • Method of creation: Stamped in red
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: Large script N in No. The 1 some distance away

  • Text: No 297 and 1
  • Location: On underside of base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.49B-1918
Primary reference Number: 42723
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 15 August 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) "John Milton (1608-74)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-08 07:30:21

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{{cite web|url= |title=John Milton (1608-74) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-08 07:30:21|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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