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Louis Antoine Jullien: C.1010-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Louis Antoine Jullien


Production: Alpha factory (Perhaps)




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

The oval base is shaped to the front to provide a flat panel; this bears the title ‘JULLIEN’ in gilt capitals, and gilt decorations to either side. Jullien stands with his left arm resting on a forward facing music stand. His left hand is raised, as if conducting and his gaze is lifted upward to his right. The figure is well coloured. Jullien is dressed in: a blue tail coat, edged with gilt; flesh-pink trousers; a gilt-edged white waistcoat; a shirt with gold buttons; and a green collar. He wears a full beard and a moustache. The music is detailed in black, and the stand has a broad red band. The underside is concave and glazed with a vent hole towards the back left. The back is moulded.


History note: Mr S Fenton, Cranbourn Street, London. Bought by 11 June 1909, for 7/6 (seven shillings and sixpence), by Dr Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L.Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 5.7 cm
Depth: 2.25 in
Height: 20.3 cm
Height: 8 in
Width: 7.7 cm
Width: 3 in

Relative size of this object

7.7 cm8 cm5.7 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


Mid 19th century
Victoria I
Circa 1850 CE - Circa 1855 CE


According to Pugh (p.507), this figure is the companion to a figure of Jenny Lind as Marie in La Figlia del Reggimento (but not the one held by the Fitzwilliam).

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; painted in underglaze blue; and the title in gilt capitals bracketed by gilt decorations.

Louis Antoine Jullien (1812 - 1860) was a French conductor and composer of light music. He introduced promenade concerts to London and was particularly associated with dance music such as the polka, which became popular throughout Europe in the mid-nineteenth century. On purchasing this figure in 1909, Dr Glaisher wrote: ‘Jullien, as a conductor of large orchestras, as a composer of quadrilles, and as the introducer into England of shilling concerts, was an exceedingly well known personality from 1840 to 1860. [...] his name it was chiefly connected with noise ‘As noisy as a Jullien’s concert’ and [...] in addition to his own large orchestras at the theatre he would have six military bands’.

Rackham (1935) lists this figure as of a type made chiefly by 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. But Sampson Smith figures generally have a flatter back and a plain oval base, and there were many other manufacturers of figures working in Staffordshire at this time.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

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

Materials used in production

White earthenware

Techniques used in production

Press moulding : White earthenware moulded in three parts with separately moulded arms and pearlware glazed. Painted underglaze in cobalt blue and with black, red, green and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt. The underside is concave and glazed with a vent hole towards the back left. The back is moulded.

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: painted gilt capitals with gilt decorations to either side

  • Text: JULLIEN
  • Location: Front of base
  • Method of creation: Painted gilt
  • Type: Name

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1010-1928
Primary reference Number: 71132
Old object number: R.3116
Old object number: 3044
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Tuesday 14 February 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) "Louis Antoine Jullien" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-04 01:32:21

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{{cite web|url= |title=Louis Antoine Jullien |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-06-04 01:32:21|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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