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Lion: C.85-1997

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)




Unidentified factory




Earthenware figure, moulded and coated with yellow lead glaze.

Small animal figure of a lion resting, forepaws together, on a slightly domed oval base. The underside is open and the whole piece has been dipped in a lemon yellow glaze.


History note: G.H.W. Rylands, Litt.D., CBE, CH, King's College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Given by G.H.W. Rylands in memory of his mother, Betha Wolferstan Rylands

Measurements and weight

Height: 5.8 cm
Length: 6.5 cm
Width: 3.7 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1997-10-13) by Rylands, G.H.W.


19th Century, Early#
George III
George IV
Circa 1800 CE - 1830 CE


Small, simply modelled and plain glazed figures of animals and birds, like this one, were cheap to produce and popular. More complex pottery lions were also made, sometimes colour glazed but more often painted under or over a clear lead-glaze. The Fitzwilliam collection holds several based on classical examples.

Yellow glazed earthenwares were produced by a number of English potteries during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The yellow colour of earlier examples was produced from a mix of litharge (lead monoxide), antimony and tin or lead ash, with proportions varied to produce different tones. From around 1830, chrome pigment became available as a simpler alternative. Very few pieces of yellow-glazed ware are marked, but those that are show that makers included at least nine Staffordshire potteries, including Wedgwood, Spode, Enoch Wood and John Shorthouse, as well as potteries in Rotherham, Leeds, Newcastle-on-Tyne and Sunderland.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of lead-glaze ( yellow)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Moulding : Earthenware, moulded, and lead glazed.

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.85-1997
Primary reference Number: 76230
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Lion" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-24 13:53:00

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{{cite web|url= |title=Lion |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-24 13:53:00|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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