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Henry Woodward Figure. Bow Porcelain C1749


The actor Henry Woodward, 1714-77, in the white, shown in the role of The Fine Gentleman as introduced into Lethe in 1749, and taken from an undated mezzotint by James McArdell after Francis Hayman. One of the theatrical figures for which Bow is known; and one of the best known of the theatrical figures. He stands, hands in pockets, legs astride, on a flat square base in front of a ‘broken’ vertical plinth (which acts as a structural support). He wears a long, open, wide-tailed frock coat with embroided buttons, collar and large cuffs, all above a partially buttoned under-shirt with cravat at collar, his knee-length buttoned breeches tied above stockinged legs and feet in buckled shoes; a large tricorn hat above long hair and flower-tied queue. A sword at his left. H. H. 10.0 in (25.5 cm). Provenance: Private Collection, Melbourne, 1969. Lethe was first produced as an afterpiece in April 1745, followed by a series of revisions until 1772. The most popular of these was that introduced in 1749 in which David Garrick included the roles of the Fine Lady, Mrs Riot, and the Fine Gentleman, played by Kitty Clive and Henry Woodward respectively. See too, Yarbrough, 1996, pp 21; 28-30. Enameled examples: (i) Pair, formerly Godden Collection, Adams and Redstone, 1981/1991 (Colour Plate H). (ii) Bearsted Collection, Upton House, Oxfordshire, (the National Trust), Clive similarly decorated as the Collection example, (almost certainly by the same hand) paired with a probably slightly earlier and differently decorated Woodward in a strong ‘Muses painter’ palette and painting style similar to that of Collection #250, the actor James Quin. Such examples apparently outside decorated. Examples in the white: (i) Pair, the Holborne Museum of Art, Bath, illustrated, Every Look Speaks (Exhibition catalogue, 2003). (ii) Pair, Freeman Collection, Gabszewicz, 1982, # 186/187, he with traces of cold-fired gilding. Incised star mark to base. (iii) Lane, 1961, Pair, Plates 36, 37, pp. 53, 86. (iv) Pair, Untermyer Collection, 1957. Fig. 241, Plates 76/77. (v) Pair, Sharp Collection, 2002, p. 126. (vi) Pair, Bradshaw, A1 and A2, p.60, 61 and p.88. (vii) Early example, Woodward, on base moulded with trophies, Radford Collection, King, 1925, Fig 3.


  • Condition
    Good. Restoration to hat, mostly on pigtail (minor) and to right leg..
  • Dimensions

    H 8.5 in. x W 4.7 in. x D 4.7 in.

    H 21.59 cm x W 11.94 cm x D 11.94 cm

  • Seller location
    Melbourne, AU
  • Seller reference number
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