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Water bottle: C.1727-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Production: Unidentified Liverpool pottery
Decorator: uncertain (Perhaps)




Tin-glazed earthenware painted in blue, green, yellow, pink, dark pink, and black enamels with two Chinese ladies standing among flowering plants

Buff earthenware, tin-glazed bluish-white, and painted overglaze in blue, green, yellow, ink, dark pink, and black enamels in famille rose style. The bottle has a bulbous lower part, a tall slender, slightly sloping neck, and a cup-shaped mouth, The bulbous part is decorated with two Chinese ladies, one of whom carries a small parasol, standing among flowering plants with a low fence behind them. Round the upper part of the neck and the cup-shaped mouth there are Oriental-style flowers and diapered panels.


History note: The Rt Hon. Sir John Eldon Gorst; sold Christie, Manson & Woods, 6 July 1916, Catalogue of Sèvres Porcelain being a portion of the collection of the late William Leveson Gower, Esq., Sen. . . . . Porcelain & Old English Furniture the property of The Right Hon. Sir John Eldon Gorst, Deceased; late of Castle Coombe Manor House, Chippenahm (Sold by Order of the Public Trustee), p. 16, lot 83; purchased for £18.18s. 0d. by Mr Stoner on behalf of Dr J.W.L. Glaisher who paid him £23.18s. 0d. including commission.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 23 cm
Height: 9 1/16 in
Width: 15.3 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Liverpool ⪼ Cheshire ⪼ England
  • Cobridge ⪼ North Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


18th Century, third quarter#
George II
Circa 1750 CE - 1760 CE


The enamelled Chinoiserie decoration on this Liverpool delftware water bottle emulates the famille rose palette used on Chinese porcelain of the Yongzheng period (1723-35). It is similar in style to enamelling on some Staffordshire white salt-glazed stoneware, and it seems possible that it could have been decorated in north Staffordshire, possibly by either the Daniel or Warburton family of Hot Lane, Cobridge, who are said to have specialized in enamelling. The introduction of enamelled decoration on white salt-glazed stoneware by the early 1750s is supported by Dr Richard Pococke's account of his travels through England in 1750, 1751, and later, which mention enamelled stoneware being made in Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1750, and by the Swedish traveller, Reinhold Rücker Angerstein, who recorded seeing enamelled white salt-glazed wares at Burslem and Hanley in 1754. However, from a practical point of view it would have been easier, and safer for the objects if they had been decorated in the place where they were made, and some ceramic historians consider that this rare class of delftware (about 14 examples are recorded) was more likely to have been decorated in Liverpool. See Documentation. A comparable water bottle is in the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, inv. no. 4543-D3.

School or Style

famille rose

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( blue, green, yellow, pink, dark pink, and black)

Materials used in production

bluish-white Tin-glaze
buff Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Throwing : Buff earthenware, thrown, tin-glazed, and painted overglaze in blue, green, yellow, pink, dark pink, and black enamels

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1727-1928
Primary reference Number: 72535
Old object number: 4680
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 13 June 2023 Last processed: Friday 16 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

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