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Venus: C.980-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage




Factory: Unknown




Lead-glazed earthenware painted in enamels

Lead-glazed earthenware painted in greyish-green, green, tanned flesh pink, red, pale brown, dark brown, and black enamels. The underside of the base is closed and has a large ventilation hole under the support and a small one under the dolphin. The black base is circular with straight sides and has a brown tree stump at the back which supports Venus, who stands with the dolphin on the viewer's right of her, its head beside her left foot and its tail resting on the tree stump. Venus has brown hair and eyebrows. Her lips are red, and her nude body is coloured overall in a rather startling tanned flesh pink. She wears a grey-green fig leaf. The dolphin's scales are painted in two shades of green, and it has a red mouth and fins.


History note: Percy Fitzgerald Collection; sold Christie, Manson & Woods, 24 January, 19 1908, Staffordshire Ware, part of lot 120; sold to Mr S. Fenton, from whom bought on December 11, 1908 for £15 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 61 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


Early 19th Century
George III
George IV
Circa 1815 CE - 1820 CE


During the 18th century the 'Venus de'Medici' in the Uffizi, Florence,evoked almost universal admiration, despite having replacement arms by Ercole Ferrata, and was probably the best-known and most copied classical marble after the 'Apollo Belvedere'. This early 19th century copy demonstrates the startling results produced by all-over enamelled decoration on a copy of a statue generally envisaged white. Bernard Rackham (see Documentation) dated the figure to about 1820 on the basis of another inscribed 'THOMAS LEEK 1819' illustrated in Herbert Read's Staffordshire Pottery Figures.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel

Materials used in production

white Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Slip-casting : White earthenware, probably slip-cast, assembled, lead-glazed, and painted in greyish-green, green, tanned flesh pink, red, pale brown, dark brown, and black enamels. The underside of the base is closed and has a large ventilation hole under the support and a small one under the dolphin

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.980-1928
Primary reference Number: 76487
Old object number: 3042
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 8 September 2020 Last processed: Tuesday 22 November 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Venus" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-02 16:38:10

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{{cite web|url= |title=Venus |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-02 16:38:10|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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