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John Milton (1608-74): C.108-1932

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


John Milton (1608-74)


Factory: Derby Porcelain Factory




Biscuit figure of Jhon Milton standing beside a pedestal decorated in relief with the Expulsion from Paradise

Biscuit porcelain figure of John Milton, slip cast. The underside has a large circular ventilation hole. The rectangular base has cut corners, and straight, fluted sides. Milton stands with his left leg forward, leaning on his left elbow on a pile of books on top of a semi-circular pedestal with the Expulsion from Paradise in relief on the curved side. His left hand is missing. He has long curling hair, and wears a shirt with a collar, a jacket, knee breeches, a cloak, and shoes with bows on top. He holds his long cloak across his body with his right hand.


History note: Uncertain before donor, Mrs W.D. (Frances Louisa) Dickson, Bournemouth

Legal notes

Given by Mrs W.D. Dickson

Measurements and weight

Height: 18 cm
Width: 10.2 cm

Relative size of this object

10.2 cm18 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.

Place(s) associated

  • Derby ⪼ Derbyshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1932-10) by Dickson, W. D. (Frances Louisa), Mrs


Late 18th century
George III
Circa 1780 CE - 1800 CE


Biscuit porcelain had been introduced at Derby by 1771 when it was mentioned in the Chelsea and Derby sale catalogue. Enamelled and gilt figures of Shakespear (sic) and Milton were offered for sale in the catalogue of the Derby and Chelsea sale held by Mr Christie on 29 March 1773 and three following days.

This figure was probably derived from a bronzed plaster Milton by John Cheere, dated 1749 which seems to have been a stock model. The relief on the pedestal is the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, which is mentioned in Milton's 'Paradise Lost'. Another possible source was a terracotta model of Milton mentioned in the sculptor,Scheemaker's sale.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production

Biscuit porcelain

Techniques used in production

Slip-casting : Biscuit porcelain, slip cast. The underside has a large circular ventilation hole

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.108-1932
Primary reference Number: 71284
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Friday 11 November 2022

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "John Milton (1608-74)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-05 12:28:53

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{{cite web|url= |title=John Milton (1608-74) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-06-05 12:28:53|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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