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Chinese Lion: C.3200-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Chinese Lion


Factory: Saint-Cloud Porcelain Manufactory (Uncertain)




Soft-paste porcelain Chinese lion sitting on its hind legs, glazed with a greenish tinge.

Soft-paste porcelain, press-moulded and very heavy, with applied decoration. Clear glaze with a greenish tinge, unevenly applied, and with many black speckles on the base. The lion sits on its hind legs with its forepaws resting on a tree stump which is overlaid with applied stems of flowers and foliage. Its head faces the viewer, ears back and tongue protruding. The base is rectangular with cut corners.


History note: Sir Hercules Read; sold Sotheby's, 6 November 1928 (second day), Catalogue of the Varied and Extensive Collection of Works of Art, the Property of Sir Hercules Read, p. 18, lot 191; purchased for £22.10s. by Hant (or Hunt) on behalf of Dr J.W.L. Glaisher.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 16.5 cm
Length: 20.3 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Saint-Cloud ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

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


18th Century, first half#
Circa 1700 CE - 1750 CE


The lion was described as 'very early Mennecy' by Sir Hercules Read, and was later attributed to Saint-Cloud, but this too is uncertain. The base is similar to that of a Dog of Fo or Chinese lion in the Musée Adrien Dubouché at Limoges (ADL 1178; acquired 1881) tentatively attributed to Saint-Cloud. The lions are different, and could have formed a male (FM) and female (ALD) pair, but the provenance of the lion at Limoges is unknown before the Gasnault Collection, donated to the museum in 1881.

School or Style

Oriental style

Materials used in production

presumed lead-glaze Lead-glaze
Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Soft-paste porcelain, press-moulded and very heavy, with applied decoration. Clear glaze with a greenish tinge, unevenly applied, and with many black speckles on the base

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.3200-1928
Primary reference Number: 82114
Old object number: 5117
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 13 January 2021 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Chinese Lion" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-23 14:48:26

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{{cite web|url= |title=Chinese Lion |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-23 14:48:26|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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