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Mansion House Dwarf: C.76-1933

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Mansion House Dwarf


Factory: Derby Porcelain Factory
Proprietor: William Duesbury & Co.
Printmaker: Callot, Jacques (After)




Soft-paste porcelain figure of a dwarf with a prominent paunch, painted in polychrome enamels

Soft-paste porcelain figure of a dwarf, slip cast, and painted overglaze in turquoise, green, yellow, flesh pink, pink, puce, red, grey, and black enamels. The unglazed underside has a large circular ventilation hold in the centre surrounded by three patch marks. The roughly circular low mound base, has a tree stump in the middle which supports the figure. The dwarf stands with his feet together slightly pigeon-toed . He has his left hand on his paunch, and in his right holds a small drumstick or rattle. He has greyish-black hair, brows, and eyes, pink cheeks andna large red mouth. He wears an enormous pale turquoise slouch hat, with a puce underside to the brim, which is turned up at the front. A red ribbon is arround the crown, and a bunch of turquoise and yellow leaves (?) is attached to the proper left side. He has a white shirt under a yellow bodice decorated with playing cards, a shovel, tongues, griddle and a mask, all black, and down the front with mulitcolour harlequin pattern, and puce buttons. Around his waist (if one can call it that) he has a green sash with puce borders on the ends. His legs are striped in yellow, puce, and turquoise, and he has black shoes. A pair with C.77-1933


History note: Unknown before donor

Legal notes

The Rev. A.V. Valentine-Richards Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 17.5 cm
Width: 10.7 cm

Relative size of this object

10.7 cm17.5 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.

Place(s) associated

  • Derby ⪼ Derbyshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1933) by Valentine-Richards, A. V., The Rev


Late 18th century
George III
Production date: circa AD 1780


The design source for this dwarf was an etching by Jacques Callot ‘L’homme au gros ventre orné d’une rangée de boutons' in the series entitled 'Varie figure gobbi di Jacopo Callot', executed in Florence in 1616, and published in 1622, . See Documention, Lieure, 1927.

This model and its companion were mentioned in the Derby Sale Catalogue of 1784, and were described as ‘Pair of Grotesque Punches’ in Haslem’s Price List of Groups and Single Figures, made at Derby. See Documentation, 1876. They cost 18s.0d. enamelled and gilt.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( turquoise, green, yellow, flesh pink, pink, puce, red, grey, and black enamel)

Materials used in production

presumed lead-glaze Lead-glaze
Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Slip casting : Soft-paste porcelain, slip cast, lead-glazed and painted overglaze in turquoise, green, yellow, flesh pink, pink, puce, red, grey, and black enamels. The underside is unglazed and has a large circular ventilation hole and three patch marks.

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.76-1933
Primary reference Number: 82504
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 3 April 2012 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) "Mansion House Dwarf" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-10 13:42:15

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