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The Redan at Sebastapol: C.1019-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


The Redan at Sebastapol


Production: Sampson Smith (Probably)




White earthenware model moulded in three parts, with small shards of clay added to decorate. Painted with black, brown, green, pink and orange-red enamels, and gilt.

The oval base is squeezed to a thin rectangular shape at either end; a gilt line runs across the front, and above it a small ribbon is inscribed ‘THE REDAN’ in raised, gilded capitals. The top of the base is moulded to indicate a rocky outcrop, and painted brown; on the viewer’s right is a flight of five white steps, edged in black. Above, the walls of the castle stand to either side of a round, central tower, which is in three tapering tiers edged with pink and green shards representing moss. The top of the tower is open. The building walls are brown, and are moulded to suggest blocks, castellation, and portholes for the mouths of cannon. The underside is concave and glazed. The back is shaped and part-moulded. There is a 5cm circular opening on top of the tower, forming a vase.


History note: Mr Graham, proprietor of a shop in the Brompton Road, who said he had bought it shortly before at Lincoln. Bought on 18 October 1909, for 22/- (Two pounds and two shillings), by Dr Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

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

Measurements and weight

Depth: 10.5 cm
Depth: 4.125 in
Height: 19 cm
Height: 7.5 in
Width: 21.5 cm
Width: 8.25 in

Acquisition and important dates

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


19th Century, Mid#
Production date: circa AD 1855


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. Moulds for a model of Sebastopol are among those that have been found at the Sampson Smith factory. According to Woolliscroft, that model of Sebastopol is the one shown in Balston, which is a companion piece to this model of The Redan (and also Malakoff). It is therefore likely that this is a Sampson Smith model.

The Crimean War (1854-56), in which France, England and Turkey formed an alliance against the Russian Empire, was a popular source for Staffordshire figures. The Redan was part of Sebastopol, a Russian fortress, which fell to the allies in September 1855, after a year-long siege. Staffordshire models were also made of the Sebastopol gateway and of the Malakoff outwork, the three forming a matched set.

The open topped round tower may have been used as a spill-vase.

The three models are generally found with a French tricolour flying from the top of the tower. Close examination of this one shows the beginning of some moulding for the flag pole, but the top of the tower is fully glazed. It thus appears that this model was made without a flag, or perhaps that it broke off at the biscuit firing stage.

School or Style


Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( black, brown, green, pink and orange-red) gold

Materials used in production

White earthenware

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : White earthenware moulded in three parts, with small shards of clay added to decorate. Painted with black, brown, green, pink and orange-red enamels, and gilt. The underside is concave and glazed. The back is shaped and part-moulded. There is a 5cm circular opening on top of the tower, forming a vase.

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: a smal, moulded ribbon is inscribed ‘THE REDAN’ in raised, gilded capitals

  • Text: THE REDAN
  • Location: Front of base
  • Method of creation: Moulded and painted in gilt
  • Type: Title

Inscription present: Rectangular paper label, handwritten in black script

  • Text: No. 3062 Staffordshire castle of The Redan (so marked in raised letters). Time of the Crimean War 1854-5 b. in London Oct 8, 1909. Came from Lincoln
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1019-1928
Primary reference Number: 71150
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "The Redan at Sebastapol" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-18 03:08:31

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