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Florence Nightingale: C.1020-1928

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Object information

Titles

Florence Nightingale

Maker(s)

Unidentified factory (Production)

Description

White earthenware figure moulded in three parts, with separately modelled right hand carrying a tray, and pearlware glazed. Painted with brown, blue, green, pink, yellow and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt.

The oval base is lettered ‘MISS F NIGHTINGALE’ in raised and gilded capitals. Florence Nightingale stands gazing upwards; she holds a tray bearing two cups in her right hand. The figure is well coloured. She wears a long, pink, waisted bodice, a gilt edged collar with a large green bow, a full yellow skirt decorated with dark pink sprigs, and a tasselled girdle which is edged in gilt; a gold slipper shows beneath her hem. She has blue eyes and her hair is brown, tied back in a bun. The tray and cups are gilt edged. The underside is concave and glazed, with a small vent hole towards the centre back. Only the upper half of the back is fully moulded, the lower part being roughly shaped to suggest the folds of a skirt.

Notes

History note: Terrace Walk, North Parade, Bath. Bought on 6 January 1915, for 12/6 (twelve shillings and sixpence) by Dr Glaisher, Trinity College.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 8.1 cm
Depth: 3.25 in
Height: 27 cm
Height: 5.625 in
Width: 10.5 cm
Width: 5.375 in

Relative size of this object

10.5 cm5.6 cm8.1 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
Circa 1855 CE - Circa 1860 CE

Note

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) was a hospital reformer who has come to be seen as the founder of modern nursing. In 1854, she sailed with 38 nurses to the Crimean War. Her evidence on the parlous sanitary conditions there influenced the establishment of the first army medical college. The Nightingale School and Home for Nurses, the first secular nursing school in the world, was established in 1860.

Nightingale’s public profile was well established by the mid 1850s, when this figure was made. While she was in the Crimea, public meetings were held to recognise her work and raise funds for the training of nurses. She gained the nickname ‘the Lady with the Lamp’, and was the subject of many popular broadsides, poems and paintings.

Rackham (1935) lists this figure as of a type made chiefly by Sampson Smith at Longton. Sampson Smith is listed in contemporary directories as a ‘manufacturer of figures in great variety’ and seems to have begun making figures around 1851. But there were many other, often smaller, manufacturers of figures working in Staffordshire at this time. This figure shares certain features commonly attributed to Sampson Smith, including the plain oval base with title in raised gilt capitals, but the decorated back, the somewhat wispy figure and the addition of a separately moulded tray and cups suggest it is more likely to have come from another factory. Balston (1958) and Wolliscroft (1976) identify another figure of Florence Nightingale, similar to this but wearing a veil and without the subsidiary moulding, which might more convincingly be attributed to the Sampson Smith factory.

School or Style

Victorian

People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production

brown, blue, green, pink, yellow and flesh-pink Enamels White earthenware Lead-glaze Gold

Techniques used in production

Press moulding : White earthenware moulded in three parts, with separately modelled right hand carrying a tray, and pearlware glazed. Painted with brown, blue, green, pink, yellow and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt. The underside is concave and glazed, with a small vent hole towards the centre back. Only the upper half of the back is fully moulded, the lower part being roughly shaped to suggest the folds of a skirt.
Painting Lead-glazing Gilding

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: ‘MISS F NIGHTINGALE’ in raised and gilded capitals

  • Text: MISS F NIGHTINGALE
  • Location: Front of base
  • Method of creation: Painted and gilded
  • Type: Title

Inscription present: Rectangular paper label, handwritten in black script:

  • Text: Staffordshire figure of Florence Nightingale b. in Bath Jan 6 1915
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1020-1928
Primary reference Number: 71177
Old object number: 4105
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) "Florence Nightingale" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/71177 Accessed: 2022-07-07 05:11:59

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/71177 |title=Florence Nightingale |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-07-07 05:11:59|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

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https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/api/v1/objects/object-71177

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        <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/aa/aa2/C_1020_1928_281_29.jpg"
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        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Florence Nightingale</figcaption>
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