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The Widow of Zarephath: C.912A-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


The Widow of Zarephath


Production: Enoch Wood (Possibly)




Lead-glazed earthenware painted in enamels

Cream earthenware, press-moulded, lead-glazed, and painted in greyish-blue, green, yellow, flesh pink, purplish-pink, brown, greyish-brown, dark brown, and black enamels; the underside is open and glazed. The figure is supported on a shallow, straight-sided square base painted in greyish-blue, yellow, red, brown, and black to resemble marble, and has painted on the back edge 'Widow Serepla.' (sic) The widow is seated on a rocky mound with her right leg crossed over her left, leaning on her left arm (missing) on the top of a barrel beside her. She holds a cake in her right hand which rests on her knee. She wears a long white robe and a purplish-pink cloak with a yellow lining over her head and upper body, and has sandals with black straps on her feet. The mound is brown with green foliage sprouting from it, and the barrel is greyish-brown with dark brown bands at the top and bottom.


History note: A.G. Smith, 193 Wardour Street, London, from whom bought with a figure of Elijah for £6.10s.0d. on 27 February 1905 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 23 cm
Width: 10.4 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Burslem ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


George IV
Circa 1820 - 1830


This figure and its companion 'Elijah being fed by a Raven' (C.912B-1928) illustrate two consecutive incidents in the life of the Prophet Elijah which are described in the Bible, Kings 17: 1-7 and 10-16. In the first, Elijah was saved from starvation during a drought and famine by ravens which brought him food, and in the second he was taken in and fed by a poor widow in Zarephath. The marbled base of the figure and its pair are comparable to those of figures marked WOOD & CALDWELL. Compare these figurers with earlier versions C.881A-1928 and C.881B-1928, of which Elijah is marked 'Ra. Wood Burslem' for probably for Ralph Wood II (d. 1795).

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels
Surface composed of lead-glaze
Base Depth 9 cm Width 9 cm

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Moulding : Earthenware, moulded, lead-glazed, and painted in enamels

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Widow Serepla
  • Location: On back of base
  • Method of creation: Incised and painted in black
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.912A-1928
Primary reference Number: 76352
Old object number: 2346
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 29 August 2023 Last processed: Tuesday 17 October 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 (2023) "The Widow of Zarephath" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-05 18:32:16

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{{cite web|url= |title=The Widow of Zarephath |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-05 18:32:16|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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