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Mansion House Dwarf: C.77-1933

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 wearing a tall hat, painted in polychrome enamels, and gilt

Soft-paste porcelain figure of a dwarf, slip-cast, and painted overglaze in pale greyish-blue, turquoise, green, yellow, pink, red, purple, grey, and black enamels. The underside of the base is unglazed and has a large circular ventilation hole, and three patch marks. The circular base has deep rounded sides, painted to resemble grass, and rises up into a small low stump in the centre. The dwarf stands with his feet on either side of it. He faces the front, holds a yellow staff in his left hand, and places his right on his waist. He has grey hair, moustache, eyebrows and eyes, and a red mouth, which is wide open. He wears a tall pale greyish-blue hat with red underside to the brim, and a black scarf round the crown to which is attached a bunch of white and red feathers. He has a peasecod double with a pale yellow ground and purple floral pattern, except for a strip down the centre front which has a harlequin pattern and purple buttons. On his right shoulder there are yellow, pink, red, and turquoise tabs, and on the left shoulder, pink, red, and yellow ones. His trunk hose are pink and his shoes black with reserved white buckles. A pair with C.76-1933


History note: Uncertain before testator

Legal notes

A.V. Valentine-Richards Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 17.8 cm
Width: 9.9 cm

Relative size of this object

9.9 cm17.8 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
Circa 1780 CE - 1790 CE


This dwarf and its companion were mention in the Derby sale catalogue of 1784 and were included in Haslem's Price List of Groups and Single Figures' made at Derby as ' 226 Pair of Grotesque Punches'. See Documentation, 1876.

This model had been produced earlier at Meissen, Mennecy, and Chelsea. It was derived from a print by Jacques Callot, 'L'homme au ventre tombant, et a chapeau très elevé', an example of which is in the Founders Bequest to the Fitzwilliam Museum (24.I.9.762). See Documentation, 1927.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( pale greyish-blue, turquoise, green, yellow, pink, red, purple, grey, and black)

Materials used in production

Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Slip casting : Soft-paste porcelain, slip-cast, and painted overglaze in pale greyish-blue, turquoise, green, yellow, pink, red, purple, grey, and black enamels. The underside of the base is unglazed and has a large circular ventilation hole, surrounded by three patch marks.

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Script N followed by raised o

  • Text: No 227
  • Location: On underside of base
  • Method of creation: Incised, almost illegibly
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.77-1933
Primary reference Number: 82505
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 12 July 2016 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 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) "Mansion House Dwarf" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-09 16:46:24

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Mansion House Dwarf |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-09 16:46:24|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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