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French soldier & English sailor: C.1009-1928

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Object information

Titles

French soldier & English sailor

Maker(s)

Possibly Sampson Smith Unidentified factory (Production)

Description

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

The French soldier, on the left, holds a tricolour flag in his right hand and a gun in his left, its butt resting on the ground. He wears: a cap with black peak: an orange jacket with two rows of black buttons, yellow epaulets, gilt edged cuffs and a black neckerchief; and crossed white belts with a gold buckle. The gun has a grey barrel and a brown butt. Beside him, the sailor holds a Union Jack flag, with pink extension. He wears: a gilt edged, open, blue jacket; a white shirt with gilt edged collar; a loosely tied black neckerchief; a black belt with gold buckle; and a wide brimmed yellow hat. The sailor has a beard; both wear black shoes. Between them is a flesh-pink wall, with four black-lined cannon mouths; at its base is a pile of shot, touched in black. The rectangular base is rounded to one end; a gilt line runs across its front. The group is well coloured. The figures stand on rough ground, which is painted in a combed pattern of brown and green. The underside is concave and glazed. The back is flat, with a vent hole 27cm from the bottom. There are four round holes in the centre front, 6,9,11.5 and 14cm from the bottom.

Notes

History note: Praed Street, London, W. Bought on 9 November 1909, for 7/6 (seven shillings and sixpence), by Dr Glaisher, Trinity College.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L.Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 6.5 cm
Depth: 2.25 in
Height: 34 cm
Height: 13.375 in
Width: 18.5 cm
Width: 7.25 in

Relative size of this object

18.5 cm13.4 cm6.5 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.

Acquisition and important dates

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

Dating

Mid 19th century
Victorian
Production date: circa AD 1855

Note

This figure group dates from the Crimean War (1854-56), when France, England and Turkey formed an alliance against the Russian Empire – a popular source for Staffordshire figures. The Fitzwilliam collection also includes a similarly posed figure group of the French Emperor, Napoleon III, and Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert (C.1026-1928). The existence of both these groups in different mouldings, including the French soldier and the English sailor as single figures, indicates that they sold well.

Woolliscroft (1976) lists this figure as attributed to Sampson Smith, at Longton, a factory listed in contemporary directories as a ‘manufacturer of figures in great variety’, which began around 1851 and continued to make figures in quantity into the early part of the twentieth century. Rackham (1935) also identifies the group as of a type made chiefly by Sampson Smith. The simple three part moulding of this figure and its plain oval base suggest it might have been made at the Sampson Smith factory, though there seems to be no other evidence for this attribution, and there were many other, manufacturers of figures working in Staffordshire at this time.

School or Style

Victorian

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( black, grey, brown, red, orange, green, yellow, pink 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 and pearlware glazed. Painted underglaze in cobalt blue and with black, grey, brown, red, orange, green, yellow, pink and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt. The underside is concave and glazed. The back is flat, with a vent hole 27cm from the bottom. There are four round holes in the centre front, 6,9,11.5 and 14cm from the bottom.
Lead-glazing

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Rectangular paper label, handwritten in black script

  • Text: No.3063 Staffordshire group of and English sailor and a French soldier standing side by side. Time of the Crimean War 1854-55 b. in London Nov 9. 1909
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1009-1928
Primary reference Number: 71130
Old object number: 3063
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) "French soldier & English sailor" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/71130 Accessed: 2022-07-07 05:38:50

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/71130 |title=French soldier & English sailor |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-07-07 05:38:50|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/api/v1/objects/object-71130

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        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">French soldier & English sailor</figcaption>
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