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Prudence: C.902B-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage




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




Lead-glazed earthenware painted in enamels

Earthenware, moulded, covered with slightly greenish-blue tinted lead-glaze and painted in royal blue, green, pale yellow, flesh pink, red, pale purple, shades of brown, and black enamels. Prudence is supported on a rectangular base which is hollow underneath. She has pale brown hair drawn into a chignon, with long locks falling down onto her shoulders at the back. Her features are delicately tinted in brown and flesh pink. she wears a blue headband, a long pale cream dress scattered with spots and floral sprays, a red belt, a turquoise cloak with a yellow lining and brown sandals. She stands on her right leg with her left relaxed at the knee. Her head is turned three-quarters to her left. Her right arm is extended to the side and that hand grasps a snake. Her left arm is bent at the elbow and the hand holds the handle of a mirror, now missing. The base is painted in shades of brown, blue and black to resemble marble.


History note: 1Christie's, March or April 1905; Mr A.G. Smith from whom purchased with a figure of Fortitude 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: 16.5 cm
Height: 52 cm
Width: 28 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Burslem ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England
  • London ⪼ 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 - 1800 CE


Prudence and Fortitude were two of the four cardinal virtues. The others were Justice and Temperance.

This figure and its companion, Fortitude, 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).

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( royal blue, green, pale yellow, flesh pink, red, pale purple, shades of brown, and black)

Materials used in production

tinted slightly greenish-blue Lead-glaze

Techniques used in production

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

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: rectangular white paper stick-on label

  • Text: Nos 2311-2312/Statuettes of/Fortitude and/Prudence (or/Architecture & /Medicine). Made/at Caughley, or/perhaps in Staffs/b. in London/June 2 1905
  • Location: On underside of front of base
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.902B-1928
Primary reference Number: 76336
Old object number: 2312
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

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Prudence" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-23 19:38:04

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{{cite web|url= |title=Prudence |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-23 19:38:04|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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