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Una and the Lion or Purity

Maker(s) &

Minton & Co., factory, England, Staffordshire, Stoke, now in Stoke-on-Trent
Bell, John, modeller, British artist, 1811-1895, England


Modelled by John Bell (1811/12-95) for Summerley's Art Manufactures. The model was registered on 19 August 1847.


Parian (porcelain)


figure group






19th century; Victoria I


Parian porcelain group of Una, seated on a lion walking to the left.
Parian porcelain, slip-cast.The figures are supported on a rectangular base with a flange round the outer edge underneath on which it rests. The lion is walking to the left and has its left front paw raised slightly, Its left back paw is forward and the right back paw is back. The tip of the tail rests on the ground. The lion is partly covered by a loose drape on which Una sits. She is nude and looks modestly downwards. Her right leg is crossed over her left and she holds a piece of the Lion's mane in her right hand.


slip-casting; whole


Parian (porcelain); whole


parian porcelain, slip-cast


height, whole, 37.5, cm
length, whole, 37.8, cm


given; 1973; The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


From the collection of A.N.L. Munby, Litt. D., Cambridge (1913-74); given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


The inspiration for Una and the Lion came from Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene, Book I, Canto III. Three lines of verse 9 were quoted in Felix Summerly's catalogue and in advertisements placed by the firm in the Art Union in June and October of that year. 'The Lyon would not leave her desoltate,/But with her went along, as a strong garde/Of her chaste person' the verse continued, 'and a faithful mate/Of her sad troubles and misfortunes hard: Stil when she slept, he kept both watch and ward,/And when she wakt, he waited diligent,/With humble service to her will prepard/From her faire eyes he tooke commandement,/And ever by her lookes conceived her intent.'
Art-Manufactures Collected by Felix Summerly p. 7, no. 15 (copy in Minton MS 1567 B 14), 'Una and the Lion, a Statuette, a companion to Danecker's Ariadne; designed and modelled by John Bell, nearly ready./"The Lyon would not leave her desolate,/But with her went along, as a strong gard/Of her chaste person./The FAERIE QUEENE, BOOKE i, CANTO iii."

Acquisition Credit:

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


mark; on the back right top corner; moulded in relief; FS in monogram and JOHN BELL; Felix Summerley mark incorporating FS in monogram, and JOHN BELL
patent registration mark; on the back right top corner; in relief; patent registration mark for 19 August 1847
date; on the back right corner of the flange under the base; impressed; ermine mark; year cypher for 1860
factory mark; on the back right corner of the flange under the base; impressed; M; for Minton


Plagiarism Personified? European Pottery and Porcelain Figures. 1986-07-15 - 1986-08-31
Organiser: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Cambs.), UK
Venue: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Cambs.)
Notes: Catalogue, p. 72, illustrated pl. 53.
Catalogue number: K2


Poole, Julia E.. 1986. Plagiarism Personified? European Pottery and Porcelain Figures.Cambridge (Cambs.): The Fitzwilliam Museump. 72
Publ. K2 and pl. 53

Godden, Geoffrey A.. 1968. Minton Pottery and Porcelain of the First Period 1793-1850.London: Herbert Jenkins Ltd
Cf. p. 98, no. 184.

no date. Art-Manufactures Collected by Felix Summerly.Chiswick:
Ref. This model is listed as no. 15

Art Union.London: p. 326
Ref. See also p. cxv and clxv.

Aslin, Elizabeth. Atterbury, Paul. 1976. Minton 1798-1910.London: Her Majesty's Stationery Officep. 35
Cf.Another example exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, August - Octobert 1976, p. 35, D9.

Shinn, Charles. Shinn, Dorrie. 1971. The Illustrated Guide to Victorian Parian China.London: Barrie & Jenkinsp. 107
Cf. pl. 65 an example in the Godden Collection, and see p. 107.

Atterbury, Paul. The Parian Phenomenon, A Survey of Victorian Parian Porcelain Statuary and Busts.Shepton Beauchamp: Richard Dennisp. 64
Cf. Ariadne, and Una and the Lion

Sotheby's. 2004. European Ceramics, Glass, Silver and Vertu, 29 June 2004.London, Olympia: Sotheby'sp. 111
Cf. Lot 195, c. 1876. Estimate £800-1000; E1,200-1,500.

1852. Parian Figures Manufactured by Minton & Company Stoke-upon-Trent.Stoke-upon-Trent:
Ref. no. 184. The figure cost £2.16.0 (old money). Its dimensions were h. 14½ . l. 15 in. and w. 5½


Object Number: C.1-1973
(Applied Arts)
(record id: 39406; input: 2002-01-08; modified: 2016-08-11)