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A Bare-headed Commander on Horseback: C.1397-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


A Bare-headed Commander on Horseback


Pottery: Pickleherring Pottery (Possibly)
Pottery: Montague Close Pottery (Possibly)




Tin-glazed earthenware dish painted in blue, green, yellow, and orange with a commander in armour, riding a horse which is galloping to the left. Initialled and dated 'H/A:I/1637'. Blue dash border. 'I L' on the back inside footring.

Reddish-buff earthenware, the front tin-glazed off-white, and painted in blue, green, yellow, and orange; the reverse covered with pale yellowish lead-glaze. Circular with narrow rim and deep curved sides, standing on a footring. Decorated with a bare-headed commander wearing armour and holding a baton, riding on a horse which is galloping to the viewer's left. Inscribed below the baton in blue 'H/ A I 1637’. The foreground is dappled in green and yellow and there are low bushes on either side. Round the edge there are three blue concentric bands and narrow blue dashs. In the middle of the back are the initials 'I L' (dot over the I)


History note: Mr Stoner, 93-94 York Street, Westminster, from whom purchased by Dr Glaisher in December 1898 for £9.0.0.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 37.7 cm
Height: 7.1 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Southwark ⪼ Surrey ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928-12-07) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


17th Century#
Charles I
Production date: dated AD 1637 : dated


This is the earliest English equestrian portrait dish. It was probably made at either the Pickleherring or Montague Close potteries in Southwark on the south side of the Thames. The rider was once identified as Charles I, but the resemblance is very slight. The design was probably derived from an engraving, such as Maurice of Nassau on horseback by Crispin van de Passe (Hollstein, XV, p. 260, 788), but no specific source has been identified

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( blue, green, yellow, and orange)
Back composed of lead-glaze
Front composed of tin-glaze

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Moulding : Earthenware, the front tin-glazed off-white, and painted in blue, green, yellow, and orange; the reverse covered with pale yellowish lead-glaze

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: H/A:I/1637
  • Location: On front below baton
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: I L
  • Location: On back in the middle
  • Method of creation: Painted underglaze
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1397-1928
Primary reference Number: 71916
Old object number: 1496
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 27 November 2020 Last processed: Friday 16 February 2024

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) "A Bare-headed Commander on Horseback" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-20 01:33:23

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{{cite web|url= |title=A Bare-headed Commander on Horseback |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-20 01:33:23|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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