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The Offering of Isaac: C.969-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


The Offering of Isaac


Production: Unidentified factory




Earthenware table base group, moulded and modelled, lead glazed and painted with polychrome enamels.

Staffordshire figure group of Abraham halted in the act of slaying Isaac. Abraham is gazing upwards, kneeling on one knee and holding a knife, Isaac lies with hands bound on an altar; to the left a small ram and a flowering bush, in front a flaming brazier. Abraham wears a gown with a pink-red wavy pattern, sandals and a black scarf. Isaac has a blue cloth round his waist. The base is oblong with four feet, painted with patches of black and ‘ABRAM STOP’ in impressed black letters inside an almond-shaped, applied label. The top of the base is flat and green. The underside is recessed and glazed.


History note: Bought by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge, from Mr Stoner on February 21, 1912. Dr Glaisher paid £9.10s (nine pounds ten shillings) for this piece and another figure group (C.970-1928).

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 11.5 cm
Height: 25.5 cm
Width: 19 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


19th Century, Early
Circa 1825 - 1835


Earthenware figure groups were popular from around 1810, although the earliest examples date from nearly a century earlier. Cheaper to produce than porcelain figures, they were often produced by small potteries; very few are marked and classical, religious or literary subjects were frequently copied from porcelain examples. These early figure groups are often complex, including modelled and moulded parts and applied decoration. However, as demand increased, processes were streamlined to allow mass production and by c.1835 the earlier, relatively costly, methods had largely given way to three-part press-moulding.

Table groups, standing on four or six short legs, were made from c.1825-35; similar features suggest they were made by just a few makers. They have in the past been attributed to Obadaiah Sherratt of Burslem, but without clear evidence; they were probably made by a number of figure makers. However, similarities in the table base and bocage suggest this group was made by the same potter as another in the Fitzwilliam Collection (C.970-1928).

The Bible tells that God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to sacrifice his son. Abraham bound Isaac and raised his knife to kill him. When God saw Abraham had obeyed, He sent an angel to tell him to stop and a ram to sacrifice instead (ref. Genesis 21).

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels lead-glaze

Materials used in production

White earthenware

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Earthenware, moulded and modelled, lead glazed and painted with polychrome enamels.

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: in lozenge shaped label

  • Text: ABRAM / STOP
  • Location: Front of base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.969-1928
Primary reference Number: 76469
Old object number: 3516
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 8 September 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 13 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) "The Offering of Isaac" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-16 10:10:21

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{{cite web|url= |title=The Offering of Isaac |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-16 10:10:21|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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