Skip to main content

Holy water stoup: C.2378-1928

An image of Holy water stoup

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.

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Production: Unidentified French pottery




Tin-glazed earthenware painted in blue and manganese-purple

Buff earthenware, the back moulded in relief, the receptacle thrown and applied, tin-glazed and painted in blue and manganese-purple. The back is vesica-shaped with a winged cherub's head in relief at the top, and a Crucifixion below, with a pierced hole for a suspension cord or hook between them. The water receptacle is bowl-shaped with an everted rim, and a narrow foot. The cherub's head and the details of the Crucifixion, and inscription INRI are outlined in manganese-purple. The cherub's wings, the Cross and Christ's loin cloth are blue and there are sprays of blue foliage on either side, and a border of uneven vertical strokes round the receptacle below the rim on the exterior. There is a firing crack on the viewer's right of the reverse.


History note: Purchased in London, about 1896 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequst

Measurements and weight

Height: 18.1 cm
Width: 8.5 cm

Relative size of this object

8.5 cm18.1 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 (1928-12-07) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


18th/19th Century
Circa 1700 CE - 1850 CE


Dr Glaisher considered that this holy water stoup or benitier may have been made in Brittanny. Small holy water stoups were hung up inside the downstairs of houses, or were hung on the bed head.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colour ( blue from cobalt and purple from manganese)

Materials used in production

buff Earthenware

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: INRI
  • Location: On titulus above Christ's head
  • Method of creation: Painted in manganese-purple
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.2378-1928
Primary reference Number: 76737
Old object number: 459
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 9 March 2016 Last processed: Wednesday 11 January 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) "Holy water stoup" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-02-05 05:45:46

Citation for Wikipedia

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

{{cite web|url= |title=Holy water stoup |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-02-05 05:45:46|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

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

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="Holy water stoup"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Holy water stoup</figcaption>

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

Holy water stoup

Accession Number: C.1879-1928

Holy water stoup

Accession Number: C.2104-1928

Holy water stoup

Accession Number: C.1793-1928

Holy water stoup

Accession Number: C.1841-1928

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...