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Lion (facing right): C.182B-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Lion (facing right)


Production: Pill Pottery




Earthenware figure, moulded with modelled additions and lead glazed.

Red earthenware lion lying with right front paw raised on a ball, head turned to the right and tail curled over the right rear foot. The cheeks are incised to suggest whiskers and the mane is thickly modelled. The lion rests on a flat rectangular base which has rounded corners. The front of the base is incised ‘H. Davies Pill Pottery’. The underside is open, mainly unglazed.


History note: Bought at Sotheby’s on 12 June 1906, lot 177, for 10/- (ten shillings) with its pair, by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge.

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 15.9 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Newport (Monmouths.) ⪼ Monmouthshire ⪼ Wales

Acquisition and important dates

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


Second half of 19th Century
Circa 1860 CE - 1880 CE


This is one of a pair of lions, perhaps made to sit at either end of a mantelpiece or dresser. As each has a paw raised on a ball, they are probably based on a pair which were moved from the gardens of the Villa Medici in Rome to public display at the entrance of the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, in 1789. Small scale reproductions of the Medici lions in stone, marble, plaster and bronze were widely circulated, and the potters may have used these as models, rather than engravings of the originals. Pottery lions were popular in the early 19th century, although more often produced in white earthenware and decorated with coloured glazes or enamels; there are several in the Fitzwilliam collection.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of lead-glaze
Base Depth 10 cm Width 19 cm

Materials used in production

Red earthenware

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Red earthenware, moulded and modelled, lead glazed.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: H Davies Pill Pottery
  • Location: Front of base
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: No 2421 Lion of red glazed pottery. One of a pair. Marked H. Davies b. at Sotheby’s June 12, 1906, lot 177.
  • Location: Inside base
  • Method of creation: Rectangular paper label handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.182B-1928
Primary reference Number: 72723
Old object number: 2421
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 8 March 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Lion (facing right)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-03-21 17:28:14

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{{cite web|url= |title=Lion (facing right) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-03-21 17:28:14|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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