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Wash basin in the form of a scallop shell: C.1338-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Wash basin in the form of a scallop shell


Pottery: unidentified London pottery (Probably)
Pottery: Brislington Pottery (Possibly)




Earthenware, press-moulded, tin-glazed and painted in blue and manganese-purple; inscribed 'D/D:E/1683'.

Buff earthenware, press-moulded in the form of a scallop shell, with a pierced hole in the centre of the lower end, tin-glazed overall, and painted in blue and manganese-purple. In the middle are the initials and date 'D/D:E/1683' with three small lozenges below within a scrolled cartouche outlined in mananese-purple. The ridges and edges of the shell are outlined in blue, and there are blue spots on its rounded lower part. The flanges of the shell are decorated by a mermaid, a cross between a merman and a hippocamp, two shells (?) and a sea hound, and along the lower edge there is a row of four groups of scrolls separated by small circles. Around the curved edge of the shell there is a scalloped line.


History note: Bought from John Bowden of Wardour Street, for £10 about 1896, by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 7.6 cm
Length: 44.2 cm
Width: 42.4 cm

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England
  • Brislington ⪼ Somerset ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century, Late
Charles II
Production date: dated AD 1683 : dated


The basin was probably made in London or possibly at Brislington. At the date of production potteries were operating in the London area at Southwark, Lambeth, and Wapping.

The mould was probably after, or taken from, an earlier silver prototype such as an example of 1610-11 accompanied by a mermaid-shaped ewer in the Victoria and Albert Museum (M.10 & A-1974)

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colour ( blue and manganese-purple)

Materials used in production

buff Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Buff earthenware, press-moulded, tin-glazed, and painted in blue and manganese-purple

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: C/D:E/1683
  • Location: In the middle
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1338-1928
Primary reference Number: 71832
Old object number: 700
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 29 March 2023 Last processed: Friday 16 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Wash basin in the form of a scallop shell" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-22 12:51:48

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