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Charity: C.924-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)




Factory: Wedgwood, Ralph




Lead-glazed earthenware painted in polychrome enamels


History note: Law, Foulsham & Cole, London, from whom purchased for £8.10s. on 6 November 1916 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 22.2 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
George III
Circa 1790 - 1797


Charity was one of three Christian theological virtues, and one of seven capital virtues. Allegorical representations of the virtue often portray Charity as a woman accompanied by children.

The group is marked WEDGWOOD impressed. This is not likely to be for Josiah Wedgwood (d. 1795) whose factories at Burslem and Etruria are not known to have produced lead-glazed earthenware figures. The most likely candidate for the production of lead-glazed earthenware figures with this mark was Ralph Wedgwood, the younger son of Thomas Wedgwood, a cousin of Josiah and his partner in the production of useful wares at his Burslem factory. Shortly before his death in 1788 Thomas was planning to set up his own pottery in Burslem- which after his death was run by his younger son, Samuel, trading as Wedgwood & Co. When Samuel died in 1790, Ralph Wedgwood took over the Hill Pottery and ran it until he became bankrupt in 1797. During the last two years of the century he was in partnership with Tomlinson and Foster, of the Knottingley Pottery, Ferrybridge, Yorkshire, which marked its ware WEDGWOOD & CO. This ended in 1800 and he gave up potting and moved to London.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels
Surface composed of lead-glaze

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: CHARITY
  • Location: On front of plinth
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: WEDGWOOD
  • Location: On back
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Factory mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.924-1928
Primary reference Number: 76391
Old object number: 4523
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 4 August 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) "Charity" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-29 07:54:26

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{{cite web|url= |title=Charity |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-02-29 07:54:26|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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