Skip to main content

Dish: C.1443-1928

An image of Dish

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: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Pottery: Brislington Pottery (Probably)




Earthenware, tin-glazed duck-egg blue and painted in blue, manganese-purple and yellow

Dark buff earthenware, tin-glazed duck-egg blue, and painted in cobalt-blue and manganese-purple, with a little yellow; the reverse, covered with greenish lead-glaze. Circular with curved sides and slightly everted rim, standing on a footring. On the front are a cat, an owl and a monkey wearing top-knots and tippets, the last holding a mirror. Above is the title of a ballad: ` The Alo¬mode or ye Maidens Mode Admir'd & Cont¬inue'd By ye Ape Owl & Mistris Puss', and the date, 1688. Below are the verses of the ballad. The lower part of the design is painted with triangles to resemble a tiled floor. The edge is encircled by a narrow manganese-purple line and blue dashes. On the back, in a square, is a cross imposed over a fainter St Andrew cross.


History note: Sir Ashton Lever's Museum Leverianum, Leicester House, London, probably 1774-88; James Parkinson, exhibited at the Rotunda, south end of Blackfriars Bridge, London, until 1806; sold by King and Lochee, Catalogue of the Leverian Museum, May 5 1806 and following 65 days, on the eleventh day of the sale, Friday, 15 May, lot 1204 for 18s.0d.; sold to Dent. By c. 1910, Francis Bennett Goldney, M.P. for Canterbury (d. 1918); sold Puttick & Simpson, London, 4 March 1920, Decorative porcelain, pottery, silver plate, antique furniture and other works of art, lot 145; purchased for £325.10.0 by the dealer, Frank Stoner for Dr Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 39 cm
Height: 8.3 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Brislington ⪼ Somerset ⪼ England
  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


Late 17th Century
James II
Production date: dated AD 1688


A copy of the ballad is in the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.

Formerly attributed to London, but probably made at Brislington, near Bristol. The animals and verses were copied from an undated broadsheet ballad, 'The Alomode Dress, or the Maidens Mode Admir'd and Continued by the Ape, Owl and Mistris Puss' of which an example is in the Folger Shakespeare Library, in Washington DC. The painter changed the face of the cat, which is female in the ballad, to a leonine more masculine face, and missed out two very small animals in the background. The animals are wearing headdresses made of pleated ribbons with lace cornets hanging down on either side of their faces, and the owl and ape have short capes called night vailes round their shoulders. The writer of the verses asked if women wanted to go on wearing top knots now that they were being worn by animals like these. At the time cat was slang for a prostitute, owls were considered foolish, and apes vain and undiscriminating.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colour ( blue, manganese-purple, and a little yellow)
Front composed of tin-glaze ( duck-egg blue)
Back composed of lead-glaze

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: in a square, a cross imposed over a fainter St Andrew cross

  • Location: On the back
  • Method of creation: Painted
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: The Alomode or ye Maidens Mode Admir’d & Continue’d by ye Ape Owl & Mistris Puss
  • Location: At the top
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: I am ye owl yt Stood In Feare Of other Birds It doth appeare But Being In this Dress I’le vow I don’t Beleeue theyl know me now I heare ye Clamors of ye Thown Wherein they would run top knots down. But yet alas, alas, al in vain; For I this Mode will still Maintain Top knots & night vailes I declare For euermore I mean to ware This dress ther’s non yt can excell, I see it doth be Com Me well’. ‘Now, now, you females of this age I would not haue you In a Rage Although I doe present you heare With what you haue Esteeme deare Top Knots & night Rails you odore But see by whom they now are wore. Ye Cat shee weares In perfect View A Cornet & a Top Knot too Ye uery owl that flyee by night In this your Mode takes mouch delight. Ye Reason this for In a Storm This Rail will keep her shoulders warm. Ye uery ape, Adores this Dress & Cryes It up, Can he doe Less But females yt first found this pride Pray tell me how can you Abide To weare this mode against Controul When used by ape, nay cat & owl’.
  • Location: In five panels on the front
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1443-1928
Primary reference Number: 72012
Old object number: 4774
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 10 February 2021 Last processed: Tuesday 14 February 2023

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 (2023) "Dish" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-05-31 10:16:20

Citation for Wikipedia

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

{{cite web|url= |title=Dish |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-05-31 10:16:20|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=""
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Dish</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


Accession Number: GR.P.94


Accession Number: E.62.1898


Accession Number: E.11.1931


Accession Number: E.S.27

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...