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Eliza Cook: C.1017-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)

Titles

Eliza Cook

Maker(s)

Production: Alpha factory (Perhaps)

Entities

Categories

Description

White earthenware figure moulded in three parts, with separately moulded right arm, and lead glazed. Painted with black, brown, blue, red, pink and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt.

Eliza stands with her head turned towards her left; her left hand holds up her skirt to show her petticoat. The rounded-rectangular base is inscribed ‘ELIZA COOK’ in indented gilt capitals with three strokes of gilt to each side. The figure is well coloured. Eliza wears a full, three-tier, blue skirt, with the edges painted a darker blue; a white bodice, open at the neck and decorated with red flowers; a pink jacket displaying gilt-lined white cuffs; and a red necklace with a star-shaped pendant. Her brown hair falls in ringlets to her shoulders, and is caught at the top by an orange band. The underside is concave and glazed with a vent hole towards the left back corner. The back is moulded, but only the upper half is painted.

Notes

History note: ‘New Chelsea’ China Shop, Bournemouth; bought on 5 Jan 1917 for twelve shillings and sixpence, by Dr Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.w.l.Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 11.2 cm
Depth: 4.375 in
Height: 25 cm
Height: 9.875 in
Width: 13 cm
Width: 5.25 in

Relative size of this object

13 cm9.9 cm11.2 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 1850

Note

Eliza Cook (1818-1889) was the daughter of a London tradesman and a radical poet and writer. Her weekly Eliza Cook's Journal, published from 1849 to 54, featured a mix of household and childcare hints, poetry and fiction, and essays supporting causes such as careers for women, public libraries, mechanics' institutions, and extended museum opening hours. First year circulation reached over 50,000 copies collected versions of its essays and other items were published. On purchasing this figure, in 1917, Dr Glaisher wrote: ‘in my younger days Eliza Cook’s poems enjoyed great popularity and I have heard her preferred to Tennyson who had not then reached the height of his fame’.

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; subsidiary moulding; and the title in indented gilt capitals bracketed by three strokes of gilt.

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 there were many other manufacturers of figures working in Staffordshire at this time.

The figure was probably made in the period 1849-54, whilst the journal was in publication, as it shows her with young features, and afterwards she was less publicly active.

School or Style

Victorian

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

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

Materials used in production

White earthenware
Lead-glaze

Techniques used in production

Press moulding : White earthenware moulded in three parts, with separately moulded right arm, and lead glazed. Painted with black, brown, blue, red, pink and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt. The underside is concave and glazed with a vent hole towards the left back corner. The back is moulded, but only the upper half is painted.
Painting
Lead-glazing
Gilding

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: in indented gilt capitals with three strokes of gilt to each side.

  • Text: 'ELIZA COOK'
  • Location: Front of base
  • Method of creation: Indented and painted
  • Type: Name

Inscription present: rectangular paper label

  • Text: No.4106 Staffordshire figure of Eliza Cook the poetess b. in Bournemouth Jan 5 1917
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1017-1928
Primary reference Number: 71145
Old object number: 4106
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Monday 26 September 2022

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) "Eliza Cook" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/71145 Accessed: 2022-10-01 06:18:59

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/71145 |title=Eliza Cook |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-10-01 06:18:59|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/api/v1/objects/object-71145

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_1017_1928_281_29.jpg"
        alt="Eliza Cook"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Eliza Cook</figcaption>
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