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Figure - The Girl-in-a-Swing

The Girl-in-a-Swing

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1749-1759 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gouyn, Charles (maker)
    Charles Gouyn's factory (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Soft-paste porcelain, slip cast

  • Credit Line:

    Presented by Lt. Col. K. Dingwall, DSO with Art Fund support

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 53a, case 1

Object Type
This figure is a domestic ornament. The figure faces forward, and is less-well finished at the back, so the piece was probably intended to be viewed from the front only. It may have been displayed against a wall, on a chimneypiece or bracket, or in a glazed cabinet.

The so-called 'Girl-in-a-Swing' group of porcelain figures, scent bottles and wares were named after this figure. English porcelain collectors first identified these as a distinctive group in the 1920s, but their maker was not firmly identified until 1993. They were originally attributed to the Chelsea factory of Nicholas Sprimont (1716-1771). Collectors then suggested that they were probably made at a rival factory set up by Staffordshire workmen who had quit Sprimont's works. Recent research has proved that these figures and wares were made by Charles Gouyn (died 1785). Gouyn was a second-generation jeweller with premises in St James's, London, and he had been a partner in the Chelsea factory until sometime before March 1749. However, the precise location of his factory, and the identity of the modeller of these distinctive figures, remain unknown.

Physical description

Soft-paste porcelain, slip cast depicting a girl on a swing. Oval base.

Place of Origin

London (possibly, made)


1749-1759 (made)


Gouyn, Charles (maker)
Charles Gouyn's factory (made)

Materials and Techniques

Soft-paste porcelain, slip cast


Height: 15.9 cm, Width: 16.8 cm approx.

Object history note

Made at the factory of Charles Gouyn (born in Dieppe, France, died in London, 1785) possibly in St James's, London

Descriptive line

Figure, soft-paste porcelain, slip cast, 'The Girl-in-a-Swing', England, Charles Gouyn's factory, ca. 1749-1759.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Baker, Malcolm, and Brenda Richardson (eds.), A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 1999.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Many different recipes were in use during the early, experimental period of the English porcelain industry. Charles Gouyn's products had a very glassy body, making them liable to slump in the kiln. This figure gave its name to a group of figures and other wares now known to have been made by Gouyn. [27/03/2003]


Soft paste porcelain; Slip

Subjects depicted

Girl; Leaves


Ceramics; Figures & Decorative ceramics; Porcelain


Ceramics Collection

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