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John Wesley: C.974-1928

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Object information

Titles

John Wesley

Maker(s)

Unidentified factory (Production)

Description

White earthenware figure moulded in two parts with separately moulded right arm, and covered with a blue-tinged lead-glaze and painted with black and reddish brown enamels.

Wesley stands with his left hand at his breast and his right raised in blessing. The figure is well coloured, but with the head and hands unpainted, save for the lips, eyes and eyebrows. He wears a floor-length black robe, with white bands at his neck and a wide brown sash belt. The deeply-waisted square base is painted in marbled brown. The underside is open. The back is moulded and decorated.

Notes

History note: Greville Douglas, Esq, 27 Wilton Crescent, London, S.W. Christie’s, 11 February 1919, lot 59, bought by Mr Stoner, on behalf of Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge. Auction price 3½ guineas (£3 ten shillings and sixpence) for this and another figure, ‘Popery’; Dr Glaisher paid £4 (including commission).

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L.Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 8 cm
Depth: 3.125 in
Height: 25 cm
Height: 9.75 in
Width: 8.5 cm
Width: 3.25 in

Relative size of this object

8.5 cm9.8 cm8 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.

Acquisition and important dates

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

Dating

Mid 19th century
Victoria I
Circa 1835 CE - Circa 1850 1850 CE

Note

John Wesley (1703 - 1791 ) was a founding father of Methodism. Many of his converts were working class people, such as colliers, foundry-men, weavers, spinners and potters. Methodism was thus strong amongst those who made Victorian Staffordshire figures, for whom John Wesley would have been one of the most important people of the preceding century.

Rackham (1935) lists this figure as by an unidentified nineteenth century Staffordshire potter. Like most Staffordshire figures, it is unmarked, and there were many other, often smaller, manufacturers of figures working in Staffordshire at this time. Dr Glaisher also bequeathed a Rockingham porcelain figure of Wesley (C.3159-1928) preaching, c.1825-42, which, though holding a book in its left hand, is very similar to this figure and perhaps helps to date it. Underglaze black has been identified on the figures of several preachers made in the 1840s. There are also other Staffordshire religious figures modelled in a comparable pre-Victorian style which have been dated as late as 1851 (see, for example, C.995-1928).

The source of this figure may be a Minton design. The first Minton design book includes drawings of both Charles and John Wesley, in the same clerical dress as that worn by this figure. The drawing of John Wesley has similar hair and long face, and its hands are raised, though the pose is not quite the same as the figure (see Atterbury].

School or Style

Victorian

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration: composed of enamels ( reddish-brown and black) underglaze black

Materials used in production

blue tinted Lead-glaze White earthenware

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : White earthenware moulded in two parts with separately moulded right arm and covered with pronouncedly blue lead-glaze (pearl glaze). Painted in black and reddish-brown enamels. The underside is open. The back is moulded and decorated.
Lead-glazing Painting

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Rectangular paper label, handwritten in black script:

  • Text: No. 4101 Standing figure of John Wesley upon a streaky red base b. at Christies, Feb 11 1919’
  • Location: Inside base, on the back
  • Method of creation: Painted in black ink
  • Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.974-1928
Primary reference Number: 76481
Old object number: 4101
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 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 (2020) "Figure" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/76481 Accessed: 2022-01-24 13:47:36

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/76481|title=Figure|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-01-24 13:47:36|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

<div class="text-center my-3"> <figure class="figure"> <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/aa/aa2/C_974_1928_281_29.jpg" alt="John Wesley" class="img-fluid" /> <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">John Wesley</figcaption> </figure> </div>

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