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Fortitude: C.902A-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage




Factory: Enoch Wood
Potter: Wood, Enoch
Sculptor: Rysbrack, John Michael (After)
Factory: Wood & Caldwell




Lead-glazed cream earthenware painted in polychrome enamels

Earthenware, moulded, covered with slightly greenish lead-glaze, and painted in royal blue, turquoise, green, yellow, brownish-orange, flesh pink, pale purple, several shades of brown, and black enamels. The figure is supported on a low, straight-sided rectangular base which is hollow underneath. Fortitude has brown hair drawn back into a chignon with locks hanging down her back. Her flesh is delicately shaded in pink. She wears a blue headband, a cream dress scattered with spots and floral sprays, a turquoise cloak with a yellow lining, and brownish-orange sandals. She stands on her left leg with her left bent at the knee. Her head is turned a little to her right. She holds a large fluted column in her left hand, and holds up her cloak with her right. The base is marbled in shades of brown, blue and black to resemble marble. A pair with Prudence C.902B-1928


History note: Christie's, March or April 1905; Mr A.G. Smith, from whom purchased with a figure of Prudence for £40 on 2 June 1905, by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 20 cm
Height: 52.8 cm
Width: 28.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Burslem ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England
  • London ⪼ 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 1790 CE - 1810 CE


A column was one of the attributes of allegorical figures of Fortitude, one of the Seven Virtues. It refers to Samson's destruction of the Philistine temple by pulling down two columns which supported the roof (Bible, Judges, 16: 28-30).

This figure and its companion, Prudence, are attributed to Enoch Wood's factory on the basis of a pair marked 'E. WOOD' impressed. The figures are after terracotta models dated 1743 by J. Michael Rysbrack which were intended for a monument to John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll and Greenwich (d. 1743) in Westminster Abbey, but were never executed because Rysbrack lost the competition to Roubiliac. Plaster casts of the figures could have been supplied to Wood by Peter Vanina, who is known to have worked for Rysbrack and his clients, and who received a small bequest in his will. The Fitzwilliam's Wood figure of Shakespeare bears the initials PV. Alternatively casts could have been supplied by Charles Harris of the Strand (d. c. 1795) whose undated catalogue of casts includes figures of Prudence and Fortitude. (National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum, Box I.37.Y). The Fitzwilliam's figures could have been made before or after Wood entered into partnership with James Caldwell in 1791.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( royal blue, turquoise, green, yellow, brownish-orange, flesh pink, pale purple, several shades of brown, and black)
Base Width 20.5 cm

Materials used in production

slightly blue tinted Lead-glaze

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Earthenware, moulded, covered with slightly greenish lead-glaze, and painted in royal blue, turquoise, green, yellow, brownish-orange, flesh pink, pale purple, several shades of brown, and black enamels

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: rectangular white paper stick-on label with blue line border and leaf in each top corner

  • Text: Nos 2311-2312/Statuettes of/Fortitude and/Prudence (or Architecture &/Medicine)./Made at Caughley/or perhaps in/Staffordshire./b. in London/June 2.1905
  • Location: Inside base at back
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.902A-1928
Primary reference Number: 76335
Old object number: 2311
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Sunday 25 June 2023 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) "Fortitude" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-16 23:58:03

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