Skip to main content

The Vicar and Moses: C.992-1928

An image of Figure group

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Colours in this image

Object information

Titles

The Vicar and Moses

Maker(s)

Unidentified factory (Production)

Description

Earthenware figure group, moulded and modelled, lead-glazed and painted with polychrome enamels.

Staffordshire figure group of a square double pulpit; at the top, a sleeping vicar with his head resting on his left hand; at the bottom, a speaking clerk with his left hand raised in benediction; each figure has his right hand draped over the front of his pulpit, on which rests an open bible. The vicar wears a wig and clerical dress; the clerk has grey hair, a black jacket and white stock; the edges of the bibles are thin and marbled; the pulpit is red brown and covered with touches of black, suggesting a texture. The back is flat but painted. The underside is flat and unglazed.

Notes

History note: Bought from Mr Hagger of Saffron Walden on 28 July 1906, for 30/- (thirty shillings),by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge. Mr Hagger had bought it about two months before at a sale at Sawbridgeworth.

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher bequest, 1928

Measurements and weight

Height: 24.5 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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

Dating

Early 19th Century
Circa 1810 CE - Circa 1835 CE

Note

Pearlware figures decorated with enamels and showing scenes from everyday life and topical events became popular in the early 19th Century. Early examples are often complex, with modelled and moulded parts and applied decoration; the backs, though flat, are decorated. However, by c.1835 these methods had largely given way to three-part press-moulding which enabled faster and cheaper production for a growing market.

The earliest Staffordshire figure groups of The Vicar and Moses were decorated with coloured glazes and made by Ralph Wood of Burslem, c. 1782-1795. Similar groups decorated in enamel colours, like this one, appeared from the early 1800s and versions were made throughout the century. Although these all feature the double pulpit and sleeping vicar, variations in quality and modelling show they were produced by different potters - the Fitzwilliam holds two such different versions – and there are also later copies in circulation. Another group with the same title was made by Enoch Wood, c.1790-1810, and shows the clerk leading the drunken vicar home. A satirical ballad, ‘The Vicar and Moses’, by George Alexander Stevens, published c. 1772, which tells of a drunken vicar assisted in his duties by his clerk, Moses, almost certainly influenced the production of both these groups. The double pulpit format here seems to be inspired by William Hogarth's engraving, ‘The Sleeping Congregation’, which shows the vicar preaching while his Clerk and the congregation sleep, first published in 1736.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels lead-glaze Parts

Materials used in production

Earthenware

Techniques used in production

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

Inscription or legends present

  • Type: No visible mark
  • Text: No.2569. Staffordshire group of the Vicar and Moses. Reddish ground. Perfect. b. at Saffron Walden July 26, 1906
  • 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.992-1928
Primary reference Number: 76506
Old object number: 2569
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 (2022) "The Vicar and Moses" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/76506 Accessed: 2022-05-25 06:03:27

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/76506 |title=The Vicar and Moses |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-05-25 06:03:27|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

                <div class="text-center my-3">
                    <figure class="figure">
                        <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/aa/aa8/C_992_1928.jpg"
                        alt="The Vicar and Moses"
                        class="img-fluid" />
                        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">The Vicar and Moses</figcaption>
                    </figure>
                </div>
            

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like

The Vicar and Moses

Accession Number: C.21-1929

The Vicar and Moses

Accession Number: C.916-1928

Moses

Accession Number: 2113

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...