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Victoria, Princess Royal and Frederick of Prussia: C.1011-1928

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Object information

Titles

Victoria, Princess Royal and Frederick of Prussia

Maker(s)

Sampson Smith type Unidentified factory (Production)

Description

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

The Princess stands, her hands folded over a reticule and her head tipped, with Prince Frederick on her right. They stand on an oval base inscribed 'PRINCESS ROYAL & FRK OF PRUSSIA' in raised gilt capitals, above a gilt line, the ends of which dip downward at the sides. The lettering is ornate (eg. the letter ' L' is moulded as two back to back 'L's).The figures are well coloured. She wears a gilt-decorated, blue blouse with white collar and flowing sleeves and a wide skirt with two flounces, delicately painted with orange, blue, green and dark pink sprigs and flowers; its folds are painted alternately in yellow and pale green, with motifs in dark pink. A gold slipper shows beneath. Her hair is brown. He wears: a long blue uniform jacket with high collar and white sash and epaulets, all decorated with gilt; a red belt; white trousers and black shoes. He has black hair, moustache and side-whiskers. The underside is concave and glazed. The back is moulded and decorated only above the shoulders; below, the back is flat, with a distinctive tree-like moulding in the clay and a 0.8 cm diameter round vent hole 12.5 cm from the bottom.

Notes

History note: Bought from Mr Sadd on Kings Parade Cambridge 2nd February 1907 for £1.1s. ( one guinea, or one pound one shilling) by Dr Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr. J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest, 1928

Measurements and weight

Depth: 11.5 cm
Depth: 4.5 in
Height: 40.5 cm
Height: 16 in
Width: 22 cm
Width: 8.625 in

Relative size of this object

22 cm16 cm11.5 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.

Place(s) associated

  • Staffordshire ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928-12-07) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr

Dating

Mid 19th century
Victoria I
Circa 1855 CE - Circa 1858 CE

Note

They married on 25 January 1858. The same group has been found with the title ‘Pr & Prss. of. Prussia’, presumably issued after the wedding.

This group commemorates the announcement of the betrothal of Victoria, Princess Royal (the eldest child of Queen Victoria) to Prince Frederick William of Prussia in 1857. The couple, who became known for their liberal views, first met in 1851, when the Prince and his parents visited the Great Exhibition. He proposed while on holiday with the royal family at Balmoral in September 1855, and the figure group probably celebrates their betrothal.

Woolliscroft (1976) lists this figure group 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. Sampson Smith figures are typically a simple three-part moulding with a plain oval base, like this, and often have the title in raised capitals. Similar sprigged patterns are also found on Sampson Smith figures, although the Princess’s skirt is unusually ornate. So this figure group may have been made there, though there does not seem to be sufficient evidence to confirm the attribution. This concurs with Rackham’s listing (1935) of the group as of a type made chiefly by Sampson Smith.

School or Style

Victorian

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( black, brown, red, orange, green, blue, dark 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 in underglaze cobalt blue and in black, brown, red, orange, green, blue, dark pink and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt. The underside is concave and glazed. The back is moulded and decorated only above the shoulders; below, the back is flat, with a distinctive tree-like moulding in the clay and a 0.8 cm diameter round vent hole 12.5 cm from the bottom.
Lead-glazing

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: in raised gilt capitals, above a gilt line

  • Text: PRINCESS ROYAL & FRK OF PRUSSIA
  • Location: Front of base
  • Method of creation: Moulded and gilded
  • Type: Title

Inscription present: written onto underside, after firing

  • Text: 2623
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1011-1928
Primary reference Number: 71133
Old object number: 2623
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) "Victoria, Princess Royal and Frederick of Prussia" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/71133 Accessed: 2022-07-07 05:36:23

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/71133 |title=Victoria, Princess Royal and Frederick of Prussia |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-07-07 05:36:23|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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