Skip to main content

The Prodigal Son (Good-Bye): C.1184A-1928

An image of Plate

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: In storage


The Prodigal Son (Good-Bye)


Factory: Unidentified Pottery
Decorator: unidentified enameller




Lead-glazed creamware painted in enamels with scene from the parable of the Prodigal Son.

Pale cream-coloured earthenware covered in a clear lead-glaze and painted overglaze with coloured enamels. The plate has a six-lobed wavy rim with a double moulded line around the edge. Each lobe is painted with red, yellow and blue bands around the edge and yellow scrolls, green leaves and a red cross in the centre. The scene in the middle of the plate shows the Prodigal Son leaving his family home. On the left, two horses are being prepared for travel by a stable-hand in a tricorn hat. On the right, the Son and another man shake hands. In the background are columns and arches painted with wavy-red patterns to create a marble effect. Beneath the scene is the title: ‘GOOD- BΫE’. Marked on the base with impressed lozenge.


History note: Provenance unidentified before Mr Stoner, London, who sold as part of set of six plates (C.1184-1928 – C.1184E-1928) for £26 on 13 January 1919 to Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 25.1 cm
Height: 2.7 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928-12-07) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


Although the plate itself is of English manufacture, the overglaze painted decoration is thought to be Dutch. The Prodigal Son scenes on the plates are a common motif on Dutch decorated English creamware, often appearing with Dutch captions rather than the English ones. Some of scenes from this set of plates appear with different English captions on three stylistically comparable plates in the Metropolitan Museum in New York (1971.180.199-201).

The lozenge mark on the plate is listed in Godden’s ‘Encyclopaedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks’ as being a workman’s mark used at the Swansea pottery c.1800-10 but Donald Towner suggests it also appears on 18th-century creamware, sometimes in conjunction with Wedgwood marks.

This plate belongs to a set of six (C.1184-1928 - C.1184E-1928) which illustrates the parable of the Prodigal Son. The scenes on the plates are derived from Richard Purcell’s prints, published in London in that early 1750s, after a series of paintings of the Prodigal Son by the French artist Sebastien le Clerc. The scene on this plate is the second in the set: it shows the Prodigal Son leaving after he has received the money from his father.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production

clear Lead-glaze
cream-coloured Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Press-moulded cream-coloured earthenware covered in a clear lead-glaze and painted overglaze in coloured enamels
Painting overglaze

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: GOOD-BΫE
  • Location: Below image in centre of plate
  • Method of creation: Painted overglaze in black enamel
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: lozenge

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

Inscription present: circular, stick-on paper label with border printed in black with ‘J. W. L. GLAISHER COLLECTION’

  • Text: 4610(1)
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

Inscription present: octagonal, stick-on paper label with blue border

  • Text: 4610 Set of six plates of white Staffordshire pottery, painted in Holland with scenes representing the parable of the Prodigal Son in bright overglaze colours b. in London Jan.13 1919
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1184A-1928
Primary reference Number: 71472
Old catalogue number: 4610(1)
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Tuesday 22 November 2022

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) "The Prodigal Son (Good-Bye)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-11-28 16:05:31

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=The Prodigal Son (Good-Bye) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-11-28 16:05:31|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="The Prodigal Son (Good-Bye)"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">The Prodigal Son (Good-Bye)</figcaption>

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like

The Return of the Prodigal Son

Accession Number: C.2804.22-1928

A study for "The Prodigal Son"

Accession Number: 2137

The Prodigal Son

Accession Number: C.1184-1928

Bye Bye Eye

Accession Number: CM.400-2014

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...