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The Death of Cleopatra: C.908-1928

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Object information


The Death of Cleopatra


Probably Wood & Caldwell (Factory)


Earthenware with slightly blue tinted lead-glaze, painted in enamels

White earthenware, press-moulded, coated with blue-tinted lead-glaze, and painted in pale bluish-green, yellowish-green, yellow, flesh pink, orange, red, mauve, brown, and black enamels. The underside is open and glazed. Cleopatra reclines on an oblong mound base, painted in green and shades of brown to resemble grassy rocks, and decorated on the top of the front with applied flowers: yellow, and white, yellow and red, and red. She leans on her left arm and has her right bent over her head. Her left leg is crossed over her right. She wears a long white gown with a floral patttern, yellow lining and edging, which reveals her breasts and part of her stomach. A pale pinkish-mauve scarve is wrapped around her hips and thighs, and a green shawl is draped over her head and back.Her sandals have brown soles and red straps A green snake is wrapped around her upper left arm and bites her breast.


History note: Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 21.6 cm
Width: 33 cm

Relative size of this object

33 cm21.6 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Burslem ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


Early 19th Century
George III
Circa 1810 CE - 1820 CE


This figure was derived from the antique marble Cleopatra or Ariadne in the Galleria delle Statue in the Vatican, probably through the medium of a reduced size bronze, or a plaster cast. On this model, the snake bracelet on the left arm of the original, has been transformed into the asp which killed Cleopatra. The figure is accompanied by a reclining Mark Anthony wearing a lustred cuirass (C.909-1928), which suggests a date for both of c. 1810-20, although he is not a true pair with Cleopatra.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( shades of green, yellow, orange, pink, red, and brown)

Materials used in production

white Earthenware Lead-glaze

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : White earthenware, press-moulded in two halves with the head and arms moulded separately and applied, lead-glazed and painted in shades of green, yellow, orange, pink, red, and brown

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Rectangular white paper label with blue printed leaf motifs in each corner

  • Text: No 2892./Staffordshire figure of/Cleopatra, reclining/with the asp at her/breast. Fine quality.l/b. at Christie's/Jan 24 1908/P Fitzgerald coll.'
  • Location: On inside front edge
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in black ink
  • Type: Label
  • Text: 2892
  • Location: On inside of front of bse
  • Method of creation: Hand-written in black indian ink ?
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.908-1928
Primary reference Number: 76342
Old object number: 2892
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 1 October 2021 Last processed: Sunday 28 November 2021

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 (2022) "The Death of Cleopatra" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-05-22 19:17:41

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url=|title=The Death of Cleopatra|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-05-22 19:17:41|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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