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Will Watch: C.878-1984

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)

Titles

Will Watch

Maker(s)

Production: Unidentified factory

Entities

Categories

Description

White earthenware figure moulded in three parts, with separately moulded right hand, and lead glazed. Painted with black, brown, grey, blue, green, yellow, red, dark pink and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt.

A man stands holding a shotgun in his left hand and a pistol in his right, a package under his right arm. He leans towards his left and is supported by a pile of three barrels. The lower part of the figure is well coloured; above, it is mainly white with gilt and enamel decoration. He wears: a white jacket and shirt, edged in gilt and open at the neck; yellow breeches, decorated with a fine pattern of green spots surrounded by tiny red spots; dark pink stockings, finely painted in light and dark pink; black boots with red-brown tops; a red-brown and green checked sash; and a wide-brimmed hat with feathers, two pink and one blue. The barrels are grey, with bands of blue and gilt. The base is rectangular, extended to the back right, with ‘WILL WATCH’ in raised gilt capitals above a gilt line to the front. The underside is concave and glazed. The back is moulded but undecorated, with a triangular vent hole 10 cm from the bottom.

Notes

History note: From the collection of the late Colonel R.G. Turner.

Legal notes

Given by Mrs J E Cameron 1984, from the collection of the late Col R G Turner

Measurements and weight

Depth: 11.5 cm
Depth: 4.5 in
Height: 39.0 cm
Height: 15.375 in
Width: 19.1 cm
Width: 7.5 in

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1984) by Cameron, J.E., Mrs

Dating

19th Century, Mid#
Victorian
Circa 1850 CE - Circa 1865 CE

Note

The flattened but moulded back, combined with the use of underglaze blue on similar models, suggests this figure was made mid-period, perhaps.1850-1865. The painting of the stockings is unusual, and similar to that found on figures which may have been made by John and Rebecca Lloyd, but Lloyd figures were usually modelled and decorated in the round and the Lloyd factory closed around 1852. A larger factory making figures from the 1850s onwards was Sampson Smith; but although this is a large figure and a simple three-part moulding, like many Sampson Smith-attributed figures, the base and complex outline are untypical. So it is likely that this figure was made by another, perhaps smaller, manufacturer.

‘Will Watch’, a legendary Sussex smuggler, was the hero of several Victorian broadside ballads. Will died at sea in a fight with other smugglers and, as an 1820s ballad records, was buried in an unmarked grave: ‘Where Will Watch, the bold smuggler/ that famed lawless fellow/ Once feared - now forget - / sleeps in peace with the dead’. The figure is perhaps a theatrical portrait: a performance of ‘Will Watch’ , by J H Amherst, took place at the Royalty Theatre, London, on 3 January 1925, and was no doubt repeated in later years.

School or Style

Victorian

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( black, brown, grey, blue, green, yellow, red, dark pink and flesh-pink enamels) gold

Materials used in production

White earthenware
Lead-glaze

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : White earthenware moulded in three parts, with separately moulded right hand, and lead glazed. Painted with black, brown, grey, blue, green, yellow, red, dark pink and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt. The underside is concave and glazed. The back is moulded but undecorated, with a triangular vent hole 10 cm from the bottom.
Lead-glazing

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: ‘WILL WATCH’ in raised gilt capitals above a gilt line

  • Text: WILL WATCH
  • Location: Front of the base
  • Method of creation: Moulded and painted in gilt
  • Type: Title

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.878-1984
Primary reference Number: 76271
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Monday 18 December 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 (2024) "Will Watch" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/76271 Accessed: 2024-05-19 09:18:11

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/76271 |title=Will Watch |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-19 09:18:11|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/api/v1/objects/object-76271

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        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Will Watch</figcaption>
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