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Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1345-1400): C.883-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1345-1400)


Production: Wood, Ralph, II




Lead-glazed earthenware painted in polychrome enamels. Chaucer standing beside a pedestal with a books and a scroll on its top

Cream earthenware, moulded, covered with slightly blue tinted lead-glaze, and painted in blue, turquoise, yellowish-green, pale buff, pink, puce, flesh pink, red, dark brown, grey, and black enamels. The model is supported on a deep-sided square base painted to resemble marble, and having a circular hole in its back wall. It is hollow underneath and has a large oval ventilation hole to left of centre. Chaucer stands on the viewer's right of a four-sided pedestal with incurved sides, standing on a circular base also painted to resemble marble. On its top is a scroll resting on two large books, one bound in turquoise and the other in puce. Chaucer stands on his left foot and has his right raised on the edge of the pedestal's base. He turns his head to his left, holds his coat to him with his left hand, rests his right forearm on top of the scroll, and in his right hand holds a smaller brown book upright on top of the pedestal. He is bearded, and wears a pale buff hood, a flowered waistcoat with puce edges and buttons, a long gown decorated with blue sprigs and dotted circles, and lined with pink, which has long sleeves with slashed tops and scalloped cuffs, pale buff breeches, white stockings and turquoise shoes with pink rosettes on top.


History note: Sotheby's, 9 July 1907, part of lot 47; bought Mr V.B. Button for £12.10s. on behalf of Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 31.5 cm
Width: 15.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Burslem ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


18th Century, Late
George III
Circa 1785 - 1800


Probably made during the lifetime of Ralph Wood II, but possible between 1795 and 1801 when his factory was carried on by his son, Ralph Wood III .

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( blue, turquoise, yellowish-green, pale yellow, puce, flesh pink, red, dark brown, grey, and black)
Base Width 12.8 cm

Materials used in production

cream Earthenware
slightly blue tinted Lead-glaze

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: There is a circular hole in the wall of the base between Burslem and 155

  • Text: Ra. Wood/ Burslem/155
  • Location: In middle of back of the back wall of the base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: rectangular stick-on label now discoloured with one dark blue edge

  • Location: On underside of base beside ventilation hole
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.883-1928
Primary reference Number: 76286
Old object number: 2680
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 15 December 2023 Last processed: Friday 15 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) "Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1345-1400)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-14 18:15:59

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