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Kneeling woman: C.984-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Kneeling woman


Production: Unidentified factory




Earthenware figure, moulded, lead glazed and painted with red-brown, green, grey and yellow enamels.

Earthenware figure of a woman kneeling, with her head resting on a pillow atop a small plinth. Her arms clasp the pillar and her head is turned to the front; her eyes are closed and she is bare foot. She wears a red-brown dress, edged with yellow around the neck. Her elaborately styled hair is held in place by a band of yellow, raising to green at the front (possibly a crown??). The base is green, rectangular and raised with ridged sides. The figure is moulded and painted in the round. The underside of the base is recessed and glazed, with a small central vent hole.


History note: Bought at Graham’s in Brompton Road on 12 February 1912 for £1.5s (one pound five shillings) by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge.

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest, 1928

Measurements and weight

Depth: 5 cm
Height: 8.5 cm
Width: 9.5 cm

Relative size of this object

9.5 cm8.5 cm5 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


1st quarter 19th century
Circa 1810 - 1835


Pearlware figures decorated with enamels were in production by 1780. They were generally made at smaller potteries and are rarely marked. A cheaper alternative to porcelain figures, they drew on a variety of 3-D sources, including sculpture and porcelain figures. Classical, biblical, mythological and literary subjects were popular, as were animals and representations of rural life, seasons and trades. From the early 19th Century, scenes from everyday life and topical events were also common. These early figures are moulded, perhaps with moulded or modelled parts added, the bases often formed separately. After around 1810-1820, bocage (stylised foliage) is common and figures are often more vibrantly coloured. By c.1835, these early methods had largely given way to three-part press-moulding, which enabled cheaper, mass production of figures for a growing market.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels lead-glaze

Materials used in production

White earthenware

Techniques used in production

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

Inscription or legends present

  • Type: No visible mark
  • Text: 3491. Staffordshire figure of a sleeping girl with her head on a pillow. Probably broken off from something else. b. in London Feb 12 1912.
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Rectangular paper label handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.984-1928
Primary reference Number: 76494
Old object number: 3491
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 16 July 2020 Last processed: Tuesday 6 June 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 (2023) "Kneeling woman" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-09 17:01:53

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Kneeling woman |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-06-09 17:01:53|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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