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  • Vase
    Bacon, John the elder, born 1740 - died 1799
  • Enlarge image


  • Place of origin:

    Derby (made)

  • Date:

    1772-1774 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bacon, John the elder, born 1740 - died 1799 (modeller)
    Derby Porcelain factory (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Soft-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilt

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 118, The Wolfson Gallery, case 2

Object Type
This is one of a pair of vases which have reversible covers with candle sockets. Its pair is museum number 485A-1875. They would probably have been displayed on matching pedestals on a domestic mantelpiece. Small vases on pedestals were also set out on dining tables during the dessert course of grand meals, although such vases were usually unglazed. A Derby sale of 1771 included 'four curious small antique vases and pedestals for a dessert', which realized £1 12s.

The Neo-classical sculptor John Bacon (1740-1799) may have designed these vases and their pedestals. He was paid the remarkably large sum of £104 for models by William Duesbury, the owner of the Derby factory, between 1769 and 1771.

The Derby factory aimed at the top end of the market and sold much of its output from factory showrooms in London's Covent Garden. These were handsomely fitted out, and sales were not confined to dealers, but were directed to private customers as well. The factory also held auctions in London and had agents elsewhere, notably at Bath. One London auction of 1773 included a pair of vases similar to these. They were described as 'a pair of curious antique urns and pedestals' with goat's-head handles and gilding, and realized nearly £10. At that time, Chelsea and Derby modellers earned around £2 11s. per week.

Place of Origin

Derby (made)


1772-1774 (made)


Bacon, John the elder, born 1740 - died 1799 (modeller)
Derby Porcelain factory (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Soft-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilt


Height: 19.5 cm

Object history note

Possibly after a model by the sculptor John Bacon the elder (born in London, 1740, died there in 1799)
Made at the Derby porcelain factory

Descriptive line

Porcelain vase


Ceramics; Porcelain; Vases


Ceramics Collection

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