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Courtship group: C.971-1928

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An image of Figure group

Object information


Courtship group


Unidentified factory (Production)


Earthenware figure group, moulded and modelled, lead-glazed and painted with polychrome enamels.

Earthenware group of a dandy and his lady walking arm in arm. The lady carries a bag in her left hand. She wears a yellow poke bonnet, a yellow blouse over a white puffed-sleeve blouse and a pink skirt. Her bonnet is very large and has a pink band with three blue feathers at the front. The gentleman wears a top hat and a frilled shirt with stock and high collar. He has a blue coat, over yellow trousers. His coat and her skirt are finely painted with a feathery effect. The rectangular base, which has stylised marble to the sides and a pale green top. At the back is a flattened tree stump. The underside is recessed and glazed.


History note: Captain Reynolds Collection, London, sold to Messrs Gill and Reigate. Bought by Mr Stoner, London, from whom purchased in 1910 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge. Dr Glaisher paid £125 for this and fourteen other pieces, as part of a purchase of 35 figures and figure groups.

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Base Depth: 7 cm
Base Width: 8.7 cm
Height: 22 cm
Width: 12 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


Early 19th Century
Circa 1825 - 1830


Earthenware figure groups were popular from around 1810, although the earliest examples date from nearly a century before. They were produced by many small potteries and very few are marked. Classical or literary subjects might be copied from more expensive porcelain examples, but scenes from everyday life and topical events were also increasingly popular. Early figure groups are often complex, with modelled and moulded parts and applied decoration; the backs, though flat, are decorated. By c.1835, earlier methods had largely given way to three-part press-moulding which enabled faster and cheaper production for a growing market.

This fashionably dressed couple’s linked arms suggest they are courting. Such groups are particularly interesting because they show contemporary costume; they are sometimes listed as ‘Dandies’.

Components of the work

Decoration: composed of enamels lead-glaze Parts:

Materials used in production

White earthenware

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Earthenware, moulded and modelled, lead glazed and painted with enamels.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: No.3207. Staffordshire courtship group of a lady and gentleman walking arm in arm. Same model as no.3208 but a much later specimen. From the Reynolds Collection, June 1910.
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Rectangular paper label handwritten in black ink
  • Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.971-1928
Primary reference Number: 76473
Old object number: 3207
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

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

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2020) "Figure group" Web page available at: Accessed: 2021-07-23 00:29:36

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

{{cite web|url=|title=Figure group|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2021-07-23 00:29:36|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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