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Cobbler: C.817-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)




Production: Unidentified Staffordshire factory




Cream earthenware figure press-moulded, and hand-modelled, decorated with blue, green, yellow, and manganese-brown oxide colours, seated on a red earthenware stump and base, and lead-glazed overall.


History note: A collector in the Stoke-on-Trent area; sold to Mr. F.J. Morrall, 41 Liverpool Road, Stoke-on-Trent, from whom bought for £35 on 4 June 1925 for £35 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 12 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


18th Century, Mid
George II
Circa 1750 - 1770


This figure belongs to a group which became known to collectors as 'Astbury figures' in the early 20th century, but are unlikely to have been made by John Astbury who died in 1743 when creamware was in its infancy, and is not known to have made figures. They are more likely to date from after about 1750. Most of them are of standing or sitting men, who play musical instruments, drink, or ply their craft, like this cobbler. They are made of cream and red clays press-moulded, or partly press moulded with hand-modelled parts, and assembled using slip (liquid clay). Details, such as eyes, are added in brown or cream slip. Their bases were made separately and attached before lead-glazing and firing. Examples with coloured decoration would have been fired to biscuit before application of streaks or mottling in slate-blue, green, yellow, and brown oxide colours (from cobalt, copper, iron and manganese) before lead-glazing and a second firing. The authenticity of these figures has been doubted, and some were probably made between about 1915 and the early 1930s (see Documentation).

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of oxide colours ( applied underglaze)
Figure composed of earthenware ( cream)
Stump And Base composed of earthenware ( red)
Surface composed of lead-glaze

Techniques used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.817-1928
Primary reference Number: 76148
Old object number: 4548
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 15 June 2023 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Cobbler" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-19 09:16:45

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{{cite web|url= |title=Cobbler |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-19 09:16:45|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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