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Dish emblematic of Fecundity: C.1422-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Dish emblematic of Fecundity


Pottery: Pickleherring Pottery (Probably)
Proprietor of pottery: Newnham, Richard


  • Dish
  • oval dish
  • La Fécondité dish



Tin-glazed and painted earthenware decorated in relief with a nude woman and five children emblematic of fecundity

Buff earthenware, press-moulded, tin-glazed, and painted in blue, green, yellow, and brownish-orange. Oval, with wide rim, and curved well. The rim is moulded in relief with alternately oval and circular depressions, separated by human masks, and vases of fruit and foliage, and the well with a reclining nude woman and five nude children, one of whom holds a dog. One of the circular depressions at top centre of the rim is nitialled and dated 'D/C M/1651 in blue.


History note: Purchased by Mortlock & Co, Oxford Street, London from an unknown vendor in 1893; purchased by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher from Mortlock & Co on 10 July 1907, for £75.

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 6.1 cm
Width: 40.3 cm

Relative size of this object

40.3 cm6.1 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

  • Southwark ⪼ Surrey ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


Mid 17th century
Production date: AD 1651 : dated


After a French lead-glazed earthenware dish, of a type traditionally attributed to Bernard Palissy (d. 1590), but probably made by his successors Jean Chipault (d. 1599) or Claude Berthémy at Avon near Fontainebleau.

Dated English delftware Fecundity dishes range from 1633 to 1697.

The Pickleherring, Montague Close, and Rotherhithe potteries in Southwark were operating at the date of production, but it seems likely that this dish was made at Pickleherring

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of high-temperature colours ( blue, green, yellow, brownish-orange)
Whoel Length 48.8 cm

Materials used in production

buff Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Earthenware, press-moulded, tin-glazed, and painted in blue, green, yellow, and brownish-orange high-temperature (metallic oxide) colours; many pinholes in the glaze on the reverse

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: D/C M/1651
  • Location: On front
  • Method of creation: Painted
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1422-1928
Primary reference Number: 71979
Old object number: 2699
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 10 February 2021 Last processed: Monday 24 April 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 (2023) "Dish emblematic of Fecundity" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-01 12:49:48

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{{cite web|url= |title=Dish emblematic of Fecundity |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-06-01 12:49:48|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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