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Bust - Alexander I

Alexander I

  • Object:

    Bust

  • Place of origin:

    Liverpool (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1805-1810 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Herculaneum Factory (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Moulded stoneware

  • Credit Line:

    Given by L. G. Clarke

  • Museum number:

    C.215-1922

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 118a, case 8

Object Type
Pottery busts, along with a huge variety of figures, became fashionable at the end of the 18th century. High-quality portrait busts such as this example were certainly copied from engravings.

Trade & Trading
The Russian market was important not only to potteries in Staffordshire and Yorkshire, which were linked to the port of Hull by the canal system, but even to the Herculaneum Pottery in Liverpool. Normally Russia would have depended largely on France for the supply of fine ceramics, but after the invasion of Russia by Napoleon and the burning of Moscow in 1812 , trade ties with Britain were strengthened, accompanied also by a wave of sympathy for the Russians. After Waterloo (1815), trade links between British potteries and Russia continued to grow, when large quantities of blue-printed earthenware were exported via factory agents in some of the principal cities.

Materials & Making
The porcellaneous white stoneware developed about 1805 perfectly reproduced fine detail. When left in the white, it successfully imitated marble, and when embellished by enamelling, was an ideal material for small-scale ceramic busts. It was not, however, widely used for this purpose, perhaps because it was too expensive for the mass market for small mantepiece ornaments. The material was used instead for a great variety of jugs and teapots.

Physical description

BUST of Alexander I for the Russian market

Place of Origin

Liverpool (probably, made)

Date

1805-1810 (made)

Artist/maker

Herculaneum Factory (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Moulded stoneware

Marks and inscriptions

'Alexander the First Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias'
Cyrillic; inscribed

Dimensions

Height: 29.85 cm, Width: 15.2 cm

Object history note

Probably made at the Herculaneum Factory, Liverpool

Descriptive line

Czar Alexander I

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Alexander I (1777-1825) came to the Russian throne in 1801 and became a popular figure in Britain as an ally against the French.The inscription on this bust suggests that it was intended for the Russian market. [27/03/2003]
Bust depicting Czar Alexander I
Made at Herculaneum Pottery, Liverpool, about 1810-20
Smear-glazed stoneware

C.125-1922 Given by Mr L.C.G. Clarke [23/05/2008]

Categories

Stoneware

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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