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Bacchus and Ariadne or Priapos and a Maenad: C.904-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Bacchus and Ariadne or Priapos and a Maenad


Factory: Wood, Enoch (Possibly)
Factory: Wood & Caldwell (Probably)




Lead-glazed earthenware painted in polychrome enamels

Earthenware, moulded, with slightly blue-tinted lead-glaze (pearlware), painted in turquoise, green, yellow, orange, pale flesh tone, red, reddish-purple, pale brown, and dark brown enamels. The figures are supported on a brown rectangular hollow base with a circular ventilation hole in the middle of the underside. Bacchus wears a wreath of fruiting vine round his head, and is swathed in a turquoise cloak. His left arm is placed around the shoulder of Ariadne, who wears a wreath of ivy over her hair, a red band round her brow, a brown goatskin over a long pale yellow robe, and sandals with orange soles and red straps. She extends her left hand to hold the base of a lamp (not present).


History note: Percy Fitzgerald Collection; sold Christie's, 24 January 1908, Catalogue of the earthenware collection of Staffordshire ware formed during the past forty years by Percy Fitzgerald Esq., FSA of 37 St George’s Road, S.W. Much of which as been exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum and also at Dalton in 1865 …, part of lot 123

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 63.5 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-19th Century, Early#
Circa 1790 CE - 1810 CE


The colouring of the figures may indicate that it was made Enoch Wood's factory.

This model was derived from a marble of 81 cm in height generally known as Bacchus and Ariadne, but sometimes identified as Priapos and a Maenad. In the late 18th century it was in the Smith Barry Collection at Marbury Hall, Cheshire, and is now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (68.770). The marble was copied in bronze, such as one by Giuseppe Boschi (active Rome c. 1760 - after 1808) of which there is an example in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The figure was probably produced from a plaster cast by a London sculptor, such as one advertised by Charles Harris of the Strand, London, in his undated catalogue of c. 1790 (a copy is in the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum). The group was frequently reproduced and sometimes paired with copies of the Capitoline Cupid and Psyche, as it is on the sides of a marble fireplace at Ickworth (National Trust), Suffolk.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( turquoise, green, yellow, orange, pale flesh tone, red, reddish-purple, pale brown, and dark brown enamels.)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Moulding : Earthenware, moulded, lead-glazed and painted in turquoise, green, yellow, orange, pale flesh tone, red, reddish-purple, pale brown, and dark brown enamels

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.904-1928
Primary reference Number: 76338
Old object number: 2897
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 30 May 2023 Last processed: Friday 8 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) "Bacchus and Ariadne or Priapos and a Maenad" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-25 11:02:20

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