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Figure of a bear: C.35-1928

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Object information

Titles

Figure of a bear

Maker(s)

Unidentified factory (Production)

Description

White earthenware press moulded in several parts, with modelled motifs added, and pearlware glazed. Decorated with overglaze transfer letters and with two spots of black enamel.

The bear stands on four feet, its claws extended, its head down and nose turned slightly to the right; the clay body has been moulded to suggest fur. A ribbon runs around the left hand side of the bear’s back, inscribed ‘ATKINSON’S GENUINE BEARS GREASE’ in black transfer capitals. The oval base is 3.5cm deep, with flat sides and with flower and leaf motifs added to the top. The front of the base is inscribed ‘BEARS GREASE’, and the back ’24 OLD BOND STREET’, in black capitals. The figure is mainly white, eyes painted in black and transferred words. The back is fully moulded. The underside is concave and glazed, with four vent holes.

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 37.5 cm
Depth: 14.75 in
Height: 23 cm
Height: 9 in
Width: 23 cm
Width: 9 in

Relative size of this object

23 cm9 cm37.5 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

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

Dating

Mid 19th century
Victorian
Circa 1830 CE - Circa 1850 CE

Note

Bear’s grease was a used to give a sleek look to the hair. Some users believed it had regenerative powers for restoring hair, or for restoring its natural colour. According to some sources, bear’s oil was being advertised for use on the hair as early as 1822. By the late 1830s bear’s grease and bear’s oil were one of the more popular hair pomades.

James Atkinson’s Bears Grease advertisements have also been found on pot lids.

This unusually large animal figure is believed to have come from Staffordshire, though the maker has not been identified.

School or Style

Victorian

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( black) transfers

Materials used in production

White earthenware Lead-glaze

Techniques used in production

Press-moulded : White earthenware press moulded in several parts, with modelled motifs added, and pearlware glazed. Decorated with overglaze transfer letters and with two spots of black enamel. The back is fully moulded. The underside is concave and glazed, with four vent holes.
Lead-glazed

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: A ribbon runs around the left hand side of the bear’s back, inscribed ‘ATKINSON’S GENUINE BEARS GREASE’ in black transfer capitals.

  • Text: ATKINSON’S GENUINE BEARS GREASE
  • Location: Around left hand side of bear's back
  • Method of creation: Transfer
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: The front of the base is inscribed ‘BEARS GREASE’.

  • Text: BEARS GREASE
  • Location: Front of base
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: black capitals

  • Text: 24 OLD BOND STREET
  • Location: Back of base
  • Method of creation: Transfer
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.35-1928
Primary reference Number: 74641
Old object number: G23
Glaisher: Gl.73
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 29 January 2019 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

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) "Figure of a bear" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/74641 Accessed: 2022-06-27 07:27:21

Citation for Wikipedia

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

{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/74641 |title=Figure of a bear |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-06-27 07:27:21|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

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

                <div class="text-center my-3">
                    <figure class="figure">
                        <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/aa/aa7/C_35_1928_281_29.jpg"
                        alt="Figure of a bear"
                        class="img-fluid" />
                        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Figure of a bear</figcaption>
                    </figure>
                </div>
            

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