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Bust of a Woman: C.1444-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Bust of a Woman


Pottery: unidentified London pottery (Probably)




Tin-glazed earthenware painted in blue, turquoise-green, yellow, and manganese-purple; inscribed 16 T/I.M 88 on the sides of the socle

Buff earthenware, press-moulded and hollow inside, tin-glazed, and painted in blue, turquoise-green, yellow, and manganese-purple. There is a glazed hole in the top of the head. The woman faces front, supported on a socle, which is closed underneath. Her features are delineated in blue, and her blue hair is drawn back into a chignon. She wears a manganese-purple necklace tied with a bow at the back, and a loose yellow and turquoise-green gown with a V neckline. The socle is inscribed 16 B/IxM 88 in blue on the sides, and has a border of foliage.


History note: Symonds of Hanway Street, London; sold to Mr Stoner, from whom purchased on 15 May, 1913 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 25 cm

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


Late 17th Century
James II
William III and Mary II
Production date: dated AD 1688


Probably made in London

This rare delftware bust was presumably made as a substitute for an expensive marble bust, but could have been based on a print. It is impossible to say if it was intended to be a specific woman. Delftware is not an ideal medium for sculpture because the glaze obscures the modelling and the painted details tend to run, as they have here, giving the woman a rather melancholy expression.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colour ( blue, turquoise green, yellow, manganese-purple)

Materials used in production

buff Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Buff earthenware, press-moulded, and hollow inside, tin-glazed and painted in blue, turquoise-green, yellow and manganese-purple; the glaze has been wiped off the foot rim; there is a glazed hole in the top of the head

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 16/B/IxM/88
  • Location: On sides of socle
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1444-1928
Primary reference Number: 72013
Old object number: 3657
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) "Bust of a Woman" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-03-26 18:54:06

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{{cite web|url= |title=Bust of a Woman |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-03-26 18:54:06|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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