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Albert, Prince of Wales, and Princess Alexandra: C.1013-1928

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Object information


Albert, Prince of Wales, and Princess Alexandra
(Prince & Princess)


Unidentified factory (Production)


White earthenware figure group moulded in three parts and pearlware glazed. Painted in underglaze blue and in black, brown, grey, blue, green, orange, yellow and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt.

The Princess stands on the Prince’s left, holding his arm. The oval base is inscribed ‘PRINCE & PRINCESS’ in raised, black painted, capitals. The figures are well coloured. He wears a long blue jacket; white trousers; a white waistcoat edged in pink; a brown spotted cravat; a gold watch-chain and black shoes. He carries a grey top hat in his right hand. She wears a white blouse and jacket, the latter edged in moulded feathers and a thin green line; and a full length skirt which is finely decorated with blue and green flowers, orange and gilt motifs, and a pink ribbon above the hem. On her left arm she carries a yellow hat with a moulded floral decoration and an orange band. Both have mid-brown hair. The underside is concave and glazed, with a vent hole towards the centre front. The back is moulded, but only partly decorated.


History note: Bought from 'a newly opened curiosity shop at the corner of Queen Street and Gresham Street, London, EC, on 1 June 1908, for 6/- (six shillings), by Dr Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L.Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 8.25 cm
Depth: 3.25 in
Height: 25.5 cm
Height: 10 in
Width: 16.5 cm
Width: 6.25 in

Relative size of this object

16.5 cm10 cm8.3 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) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


Mid-19th Century
Production date: circa AD/CE 1863


Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (1841-1910) was the second child and the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. This figure group was probably made to celebrate his betrothal to Princess Alexandra of Denmark in September 1862, or the couple’s marriage on 10th March 1863. The Fitzwilliam collection also includes a single figure of the Prince, made at around the same time, for which there exists a Princess pair. Here, however, he is holding his hat in the other hand.

Rackham (1935) lists this figure as of a type made chiefly by Sampson Smith at Longton, a factory listed in contemporary directories as a ‘manufacturer of figures in great variety’, which began around 1851 and continued to make figures in quantity into the early part of the twentieth century. Sampson Smith figures typically have a plain oval base, often with the title in raised capitals; they are made with a simple three part moulding; and sometimes have finely painted floral skirts. So this figure group could have been made there. However, there were many other, often smaller, manufacturers of figures working in Staffordshire at this time.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration: composed of enamels ( black, brown, grey, blue, green, orange, yellow and flesh-pink) underglaze cobalt-blue gold

Materials used in production

White earthenware Lead-glaze

Techniques used in production

Press moulding : White earthenware moulded in three parts and pearlware glazed. Painted in underglaze blue and in black, brown, grey, blue, green, orange, yellow and flesh-pink enamels, and gilt. The underside is concave and glazed, with a vent hole towards the centre front. The back is moulded, but only partly decorated.
Painting Lead-glazing Gilding

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: a short curved line (or part of a ‘c’)
  • Location: On underside
  • Method of creation: Painted in red enamel
  • Owner's mark

Inscription present: raised capitals, painted in black enamel

  • Location: Front of base
  • Method of creation: Moulded and painted
  • Name
  • Text: No 2797. Staffordshire group of the Prince & Princess of Wales (King Edward Vii and Queen Alexandra), circa 1863 b. in London June 1 1908
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Handwritten in black ink
  • Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1013-1928
Primary reference Number: 71140
Old object number: 2797
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 (2020) "Figure group" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-01-18 18:47:48

Citation for Wikipedia

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

{{cite web|url=|title=Figure group|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-01-18 18:47:48|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

<div class="text-center my-3"> <figure class="figure"> <img src="" alt="Albert, Prince of Wales, and Princess Alexandra" class="img-fluid" /> <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Albert, Prince of Wales, and Princess Alexandra</figcaption> </figure> </div>

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