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Duchess of Edinburgh: C.1029-1928

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Object information

Titles

Duchess of Edinburgh

Maker(s)

Perhaps Sampson Smith (Production)

Description

White earthenware, moulded in three parts and lead-glazed. Painted with black, brown, red, green, blue, purple and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt.

The oval base is inscribed 'quote Duchess of Edinburgh' in gilt script. The Duchess stands on rough ground, her left hand at her waist, her right holding a purse. The figure is mainly white, with features picked out in enamels and gilt. She wears a crown and veil, a necklace, a green sash and gold star, and a dress with full sleeves and a scoop neck edged in gilt. Her three tier flounced skirt is decorated with finely painted green and purple flowers and edged in red, a black shoe shows from under its hem. Her purse is decorated with a tiny pattern in blue. Her hair is brown, her eyes blue, and her brown eyebrows fine painted. The underside is concave and glazed. The back is moulded but undecorated, with a vent hole 14.5cm from the bottom.

Notes

History note: London Opinion Curio Club, Regent St, London. Bought on 15 May 1909 for 30/- (thirty shillings) by Dr Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 14.5 cm
Depth: 5.75 in
Height: 44.5 cm
Height: 17.5 in
Width: 17.8 cm
Width: 7 in

Relative size of this object

17.8 cm17.5 cm14.5 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.

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 1874

Note

Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna, Duchess of Edinburgh (1853-1900) was the only daughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia. She married Queen Victoria’s second son, Prince Alfred, in 1874 at the Winter Palace, St Petersburg. A companion figure of Prince Alfred exists, though it is not in the Fitzwilliam collection. As Marie wears a veil, it is likely that the pair of figures was made to commemorate the royal wedding in 1874.

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. The firm continued to make figures in quantity into the early part of the twentieth century, and again from 1948 when a number of original moulds were found on site. Sampson Smith figures were rarely marked, and there were many other manufacturers of figures working in Staffordshire at this time. However, this figure shares a number of features with figures known to come from the factory. It is simply moulded in three parts; it has a plain oval base; and the figure stands on rough ground supported by a wall. Moreover, as Pugh (1970) has noted, its size, style, base and titling are very similar to those of certain other 17 to18 inch figures, notably the Duke of Edinburgh (pair to the Duchess), Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales, and strongly resemble a 17 in mould for Dwight Lyman Moody found at the Samson Smith factory in 1948. Thus, it seems likely that this is a Sampson Smith figure.

School or Style

Victorian

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

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

Materials used in production

White earthenware Lead-glaze

Techniques used in production

Press moulding : White earthenware, moulded in three parts and lead-glazed. Painted with black, brown, red, green, blue, purple and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt. The underside is concave and glazed. The back is moulded but undecorated, with a vent hole 14.5cm from the bottom.
Painting Lead-glazing Gilding

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: inscribed ‘Duchess of Edinburgh’ in gilt script

  • Text: Duchess of Edinburgh
  • Location: Front of base
  • Method of creation: Painting
  • Type: Title

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1029-1928
Primary reference Number: 71192
Old object number: 2991
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) "Duchess of Edinburgh" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/71192 Accessed: 2022-07-07 00:28:29

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/71192 |title=Duchess of Edinburgh |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-07-07 00:28:29|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

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https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/api/v1/objects/object-71192

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

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    <figure class="figure">
        <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/aa/aa2/C_1029_1928_281_29.jpg"
        alt="Duchess of Edinburgh"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Duchess of Edinburgh</figcaption>
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