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Lion: C.835-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)




Production: Unidentified factory




Earthenware figure, moulded with modelled additions, coloured with oxides and lead glazed.

Cream earthenware figure of a lion standing on a rocky base. Moulding and incisions define features such as the mane, eyebrows, ribs and toes and green and brown colours, sponged underglaze, enhance the form. The eyes, coloured dark manganese brown, appear to heave been modeled separately and inserted.The base, a high mound, is hollow and glazed.
The underside is open and glazed.


History note: Bought from Miss Kingsland of Croydon on 9 June 1913, for £7, by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge.

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest, 1928

Measurements and weight

Height: 12.7 cm
Length: 17 cm
Width: 9.5 cm

Relative size of this object

17 cm12.7 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


Third quarter of 18th century
Circa 1750 CE - Circa 1770 CE


Rackham (1935) attributes this figure to Thomas Whieldon at Little Fenton. However, it is unmarked, and we now know that several other potters made figures at this time. Dr Glaisher, who called it a tiger, thought it ‘a very interesting piece of the pre-Whieldon period’ and noted he had seen another example.

This lion is a very early example of moulded earthenware animal figures made (mainly) in Staffordshire. The shaded colouring is produced by brown and green oxide colours under the glaze. A very similar example is found with clear glaze over the cream earthenware body and a brown coloured base and the existence of similarly modelled buffalos and elephants suggests that wild animals in general were a popular subject.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of lead-glaze oxide colours

Materials used in production

cream Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Earthenware, moulded and modelled, lead glazed.

Inscription or legends present

  • Type: No visible mark
  • Text: 3694 pottery tiger with glaze being coloured. Interesting […? before ] Ralph Wood. b. at Croydon, June 12, 1913
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Rectangular paper label handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.835-1928
Primary reference Number: 76203
Old object number: 3694
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Tuesday 30 May 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) "Lion" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-05-31 01:57:09

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Lion |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-05-31 01:57:09|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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