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Vase with dolphin decoration: C.10-1971

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


vase with dolphin decoration


Pottery: Doulton & Co.
Decorator: Simmance, Eliza
Decorator's assistant: Hurst, Jane (Possibly)
Decorator's assistant: Hawkins, Ethel (Possibly)




Glazed stoneware vase, decorated under-glaze in blue, brown and green on a white slip ground.

Thrown stoneware, coated with white slip, painted in blue, green and brown, and covered with a transparent glaze. The vase is barrel shaped, slightly tapering to a short flaring neck. The upper and lower body and inside and outside of the neck are painted with thinly applied under-glaze blue, giving a blue/green watery appearance. Around the middle of the body is a 13cm high panel, edged with applied clay beading interspersed with tiny shells and filled with a painted design of six blue dolphins swimming amid green seaweed, all on a pinkish-white ground. The underside is flat and unglazed, with an 8.5cm diameter turned foot-ring.


History note: Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum. Purchased from Richard Dennis, 144 Kensington Church Street, London, W. 8

Legal notes

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 15.0 cm
Diameter: 5.9 in
Height: 26.5 cm
Height: 10.5 in

Place(s) associated

  • Lambeth ⪼ Middlesex ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1971-10-14) by The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


20th Century, Early
Production date: AD 1910


Doulton and Co, founded c.1815, originally made utility ceramics, with some stoneware jugs and ornamental bottles. Henry Doulton introduced decorative stoneware and architectural terracotta at Lambeth in the mid 1860s; over the next 50 years, he employed some 400 artists, many of them Lambeth School of Art students. Doulton championed individuality, innovation and versatility, and his modellers and decorators used a wide range of techniques and decorative treatments in producing both unique, artist-signed, and limited edition pieces. From 1872 the business expanded into faience and in the 1880s opened a factory at Burslem, Staffordshire, where bone china and other wares were made. In 1901, Edward VII granted the Royal warrant to the factory. Stoneware production at Lambeth reduced after 1914, and ceased in 1956.

Eliza Simmance worked for Doulton’s from 1873 until 1928. She used a variety of decorating techniques, often combining two or three of them in a single pot. She is particularly known for her finely incised and pate-sur-pate decoration, where several layers of slip are applied with a brush to build up a raised design. John Sparkes, Head of Lambeth School of Art, found her ‘first amongst those who have thrown their whole energy into their work […with] so many ideas to spare’, and her work ‘so eminently graceful and well drawn as to emulate […] the work of the Italian ornamentists’ (quoted in Eyre (1975), p.105). She was often assisted by younger artists.

School or Style

Art Pottery

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of oxide colours ( blue, green, brown)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Throwing : Salt-glazed stoneware vase, painted in blue, brown and green on a white slip

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Doulton Seal with crown and lion above circular seal

  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: date stamp for 1910

  • Text: K
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: 442
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Number
  • Text: ES
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Incised in script
  • Type: Monogram
  • Text: 'H' or 'JH'
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Monogram

Inscription present: impressed using two letter stamps

  • Text: hk
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Initials

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.10-1971
Primary reference Number: 71164
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "vase with dolphin decoration" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-23 03:44:59

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