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Tiger: C.852-1928

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)




Production: Unidentified factory (Probably)




Earthenware figure, moulded with modelled additions, painted in green, orange, brown and grey under clear lead glaze.

Large animal figure of a tiger with open mouth and long protruding tongue. The clay has been combed to suggest fur and the face is finely modeled, with a row of front teeth and sharp upper and lower incisors at either side of the tongue. The tiger is painted orange all over, with grey stripes and white whiskers. The base is a rectangular plinth with green pigment unevenly spread under or in the glaze. The underside is recessed and glazed, with four vent holed under the tiger’s legs.


History note: Mrs Arthur James. Lot 52 at Sotheby’s on 28 November 1910. Bought by Mr Stoner for £6 and sold Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge, who paid £15 for this and another piece.

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest, 1928

Measurements and weight

Height: 22.5 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


Circa 1820 - Perhaps 1830


Pearlware figures decorated with under-glaze colours were popular from the 1790s until the late 1830s. Although sometimes known as ‘Pratt ware’, they were made by many small potteries and are rarely marked. Classical and allegorical subjects were common, as were figures engaged in everyday work and leisure and wild, circus and domestic animals. Exotic animals such as lions and tigers would have been known from travelling menageries.

Under-glaze painted figures were moulded and biscuit fired, then painted or sponged with metal oxide colours before glazing and firing. This required only two firings, so they were cheaper to produce than enamelled figures, but they were restricted to a palette of earth colours (yellow, green, blue, purple, brown and black), since only metal oxide colours could withstand the high temperature of the glaze firing. Some, like this example, were very finely moulded and others used complex multi-part moulds. But by c.1835 three-part press-moulding had largely taken over, enabling even cheaper and faster production for a growing market.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of lead-glaze oxide colours
Base Depth 13.5 cm Width 31 cm

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Moulding : Earthenware, moulded and modelled, painted and lead-glazed.

Inscription or legends present

  • Type: No visible mark
  • Text: No.3319. Staffordshire figure of a tiger (with protruding tongue) on a green oblong base. b. at Sotheby’s Nov 28, 1910.
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Rectangular paper label handwritten in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.852-1928
Primary reference Number: 76231
Old object number: 3319
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Tuesday 31 January 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) "Tiger" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-02-01 18:46:09

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{{cite web|url= |title=Tiger |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-02-01 18:46:09|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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