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Seated woman reading: C.920-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Seated woman reading


Production: Unidentified




White earthenware, lead-glazed and painted in polychrome enamels

White earthenware, moulded, lead-glazed, and painted in pale turquoise, green, yellow, flesh pink, a little red, pale brown, and dark brown enamels. The underside is closed and glazed apart from the outer edge. The woman is seated on a low mound on an irregularly shaped oblong base with a tall hollow tree stump ton her right. She rests her right elbow on the stump of a branch on the lower part of the trunk and holds her right hand up to her face. She looks down at a large book on her lap which she supports with her left hand. She has pale brown hair drawn back into a loose knot on the back of her head, and has a delicate pink complexion and red lips. She wears a pale turquoise long classical style sleeveless dress scattered with brown spots and dots, and edged in yellow. The book has a brown cover and yellow fore edges. The tree trunk has four holes in the ends of broken off branches on its sides, and is painted overall in brown and green. The mound and base are green with strokes of brown here and there.


History note: Bought at Oxford for £1 5s 0d. on 9 March1901 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 17.9 cm
Height: 19 cm
Width: 14 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


Circa 1820 - 1830


The tree stump may have been intended to be a spill holder. In Rackham's Catalogue of the Glaisher Collection . . ., 1935, the attribution of the figure was uncertain. The author noted that Kidson, historian of Yorkshire pottery, had noted that 'a seated girl reading a book is common' at Leeds.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( pale turquoise, green, yellow, flesh pink, a little red, pale brown, and dark brown)
Surface composed of lead-glaze

Materials used in production

white Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Moulding : White earthenware, moulded in parts and assembled, lead-glazed, and painted in pale turquoise, green, yellow, flesh pink, a little red, pale brown, and dark brown enamels; the underside is closed and glazed except for the outer edge

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 21
  • Location: In centre of base
  • Method of creation: Painted inpale purple
  • Type: Number

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.920-1928
Primary reference Number: 76382
Old object number: 1251
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 29 August 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) "Seated woman reading" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-30 08:50:18

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{{cite web|url= |title=Seated woman reading |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-30 08:50:18|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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