Skip to main content

Panther (originally carrying Cupid): C.867-1928

An image of Animal figure

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Panther (originally carrying Cupid)


Production: Wood, Ralph, II (Probably)




Earthenware figure group, moulded with modelled additions and decorated with coloured lead glazes.

White earthenware group moulded in several parts, with modelled additions. A panther (or lioness) stands with its head turned to the left to look up at a (now missing) figure of Cupid astride its back. The panther is golden brown and its teeth are bared. It stands on a mound which is decorated with moulded and green-tinged leaves, above a pearlware (blue-tinged) rectangular plinth. The underside is open and un-glazed.


History note: Bought from Madame L’Hote-Saintoin, 62 Grande rue, Boulogne-sur-Mer by Dr. J.W.G. Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge. Dr Glaisher paid 15 francs for the lion on 2 June 1913 and 8 francs for the panther (already missing its rider) on 4 October 1913. According to the vendor, both pieces were from the same previous owner.

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest, 1928

Measurements and weight

Height: 18 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Burslem ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


Last quarter of 18th century
Circa 1780 CE - Circa 1795 CE


The figures are exceptionally well modelled and other examples have been found with gilding. They were probably made by Ralph Wood (1748-95) of Burslem, whose father was also a modeller and mould-maker (Ralph Wood, d. 1772). Ralph jnr. learned his trade through apprenticeship at Wedgwood, while his brother John trained at Wedgwood’s London warehouse/salerooms. Ralph was briefly in partnership with his cousin Enoch before establishing his Burslem business, which was continued after his death by his son (another Ralph). John Wood is known to have bought figures from his brother and his account book of 9 December 1785 notes the sale of ‘1 pair Lyon & Panther with cupids coloured & Gilt 4.6d’ to a Mr John Edwards.

This panther (or lioness) was originally ridden by Cupid, turned to the left and holding a telescope up to the stars in its left hand. One of pair, its companion piece has cupid on a lion holding a globe. The winged cupid represents love, and riding or subduing a ferocious lion symbolises ‘love conquers all’, while the globe and link to the heavens suggest that love knows no boundaries.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of lead-glaze
Base Length 15.3 cm Width 9 cm

Materials used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.867-1928
Primary reference Number: 76247
Old object number: 3690
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

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Panther (originally carrying Cupid)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-02-05 17:58:29

Citation for Wikipedia

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

{{cite web|url= |title=Panther (originally carrying Cupid) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-02-05 17:58:29|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="Panther (originally carrying Cupid)"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Panther (originally carrying Cupid)</figcaption>

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like

Lion carrying Cupid

Accession Number: C.866-1928


Accession Number: GR.6.1954

Valentine card

Accession Number: P.14343-R-80

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...