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Richard Cobden: C.1005-1928

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Object information

Titles

Richard Cobden

Maker(s)

Perhaps Alpha factory (Production)

Description

White earthenware moulded in three parts with separately moulded forearms, and pearlware glazed. Painted underglaze in cobalt blue, and with black, brown, pink, red, yellow, green and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt.

The square base is lettered ‘R. Cobden’, in gilt script, with three strokes of gilt to each side. Richard Cobden sits on a bench, his left foot on a cushion or footstool; his left hand rests on his knee, his right holds a scroll. The figure is well coloured. Cobden is dressed in a blue tail coat with gilt lapels, black striped trousers, a white waistcoat with finely painted black edging and buttons, and a black neckerchief. He wears mutton chop whiskers. Beside him is a cornucopia: a brown container from which multi coloured flowers tumble. The underside is concave and glazed, with a triangular vent hole towards the back left. The back is moulded and painted.

Notes

History note: Mr Frost at Hitchin; bought on November 26 1908 for five shillings, by Dr Glaister, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L.Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 8 cm
Depth: 3.125 in
Height: 15.5 cm
Height: 6.125 in
Width: 6.7 cm
Width: 2.625 in

Relative size of this object

6.7 cm6.1 cm8 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.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr

Dating

Mid 19th century
Victoria I
Production date: circa AD 1846

Note

Following Pugh (1970) and Balston (1958), it seems more likely that this figure was made by the ‘Alpha Factory’, an as yet unidentified producer whose figures share a number of common features. Here these include: well moulded in the round; separately moulded arms: and the title in gilt script bracketed by three strokes of gilt.

Rackham (1935) lists this figure as of a type made chiefly by Sampson Smith at Longton. Sampson Smith is listed in contemporary directories as a ‘manufacturer of figures in great variety’ in Longton and seems to have begun making figures around 1851, moving to Sutherland Works in 1859. The firm continued to make figures in quantity into the early part of the twentieth century, and again from 1948 when a number of original moulds were found on site (see Haggar (1955), pp.102-107, 148). But Sampson Smith figures were rarely marked, and there were many other, often smaller, manufacturers of figures working in Staffordshire at this time.

Richard Cobden (1804-1865) was an entrepeneur and free-trade politician. He played a leading part in the campaign to replace feudal government with the incorporation of Manchester, as Britain’s leading industrial town. He was a passionate advocate of free trade, peace, and international co-operation; promoted the cause of national, secular, education; and helped found the pro-peace Morning Star daily newspaper. In 1938 he formed the Anti-Corn Law League, and in 1841 became MP for Stockport and, but for two years, remained in Parliament until his death.

The Corn Laws were repealed in 1846, which is probably the date of the figure.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( black, brown, pink, red, yellow, green and flesh-pink) underglaze cobalt-blue gold

Materials used in production

White earthenware Lead-glaze

Techniques used in production

Press moulding : White earthenware moulded in three parts with separately moulded forearms, and pearlware glazed. Painted underglaze in cobalt blue, and with black, brown, pink, red, yellow, green and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt. The underside is concave and glazed, with a triangular vent hole towards the back left. The back is moulded and painted.
Painting Lead-glazing Gilding

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: in gilt script, with three strokes of gilt to each side.

  • Text: R.Cobden
  • Location: Front of base
  • Method of creation: Painted in gold
  • Type: Name

Inscription present: rectangular paper label

  • Text: No. 2915 Small Staffordshire figure of Sir R Cobden [?seated]. b. at Hitchin Nov 26 1908
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: two small parallel lines

  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Painted in underglaze blue
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1005-1928
Primary reference Number: 71125
Old object number: 2915
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Sunday 28 November 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) "Richard Cobden" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/71125 Accessed: 2022-06-30 00:38:15

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/71125 |title=Richard Cobden |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-06-30 00:38:15|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

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                    <figure class="figure">
                        <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/aa/aa2/C_1005_1928_281_29.jpg"
                        alt="Richard Cobden"
                        class="img-fluid" />
                        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Richard Cobden</figcaption>
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