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Time Clipping the Wings of Love

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Time Clipping the Wings of Love


Derby Porcelain Factory (factory)

William Duesbury & Co. ()

Dyck, Anthony van derived from (painter) [ULAN info: Flemish artist, 1599-1641]

McArdell, James after (printmaker) [ULAN info: British artist, 1729-1765]


soft-paste porcelain


figure group




Soft-paste porcelain figure of Time Clipping the Wings of Love, slip-cast, lead-glazed, and painted in blue (a little), turquoise-green, green (a little), flesh pink, pink, puce, purple, brown, and black enamels, and gilt

Soft-paste porcelain Time Clipping the Wings of Love, slip-cast, lead-glazed, and painted in blue (a little), turquoise-green, green (a little), flesh pink, pink, puce, purple, brown, and black enamels, and gilt. The unglazed underside has one obvious patch mark and a central circular ventilation hole. The group is on a high, heavily scrolled base picked out in turquoise-green and gold. Winged and bearded Time is seated on a tree trunk with his right leg forward, the foot resting on a sheaf of arrows. He holds Cupid over his left knee with his left hand and is about to clip Cupid's wing with a pair of small shears held in his right hand. Time wears a purple robe decorated with large and small circular motifs, which is held up by red cross bands. Cupid has a yellow drape. On the base to the viewer's right there is a crown, a sceptre, and an hourglass, and on the left, a globe.

Production Notes

The figure (also known as Time clipping the Wings of Cupid) was derived from the painting of Time Clipping the Wings of Love by Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), now in the Musée Jacquemart André, Paris, inv. no. 419, probably after an undated mezzotint of this by James MacArdell (c. 1729-65). The print of this subject by Charles Phillips, is dated 1772, and is therefore too late to have been used for the earliest versions of the model. A coloured etching of this subject made c. 1633-4, by François Perrier (1594-1649) bears an inscription derived from Virgil, 'Omnia vincit Amor, vincit mox tempus Amorem'. The theme, however, may have been inspired by a more recent work, Otto van Veen's Amorum Emblemata (1608), which included the verse: 'Loues harrte is euer young T'is onlie tyme that can the winges of Cupid clip, And make him fly more low than he was wont to doo, But Tyme clips not away his good will thereunto, The aged carter loves to heare the lashing whip.'

Production Place

Derby (factory) (place) ()

Derbyshire (factory) (county)

England (factory) (country)

Flanders (painter)

England (printmaker)

Technique Description

soft-paste porcelain, slip-cast, lead-glazed, and painted in blue (a little), turquoise-green, green (a little), flesh pink, pink, puce, purple, brown, and black enamels, and gilt


height: (whole): 33.0 cm


18th century
George III


circa 1765 to 1780


given: Dickson, W.D., Mrs 1932 (Filtered for: Applied Arts collection)

unknown before donor

Given by Mrs W.D. Dickson


  1. Poole, Julia (1986) Plagiarism Personified? European Pottery and Porcelain Figures, Cambridge (Cambs.): The Fitzwilliam Museum [page: p. 42]
    [comments: Publ. p. 42, F19, and pl. 28. For an undated mezzotint of of Time Clipping the Wings of Cupid by James MacArdell (c. 1729-65), in the Fitzwilliam, see p. 42, no. F20.]
  2. Haslem, John (1876) The Old Derby China Factory, London: George Bell & Sons [page: 173]
    [comments: Ref. In his 'Price List of Groups and Single Figures' Haslem cites this model as no. 124 in three sizes, but does not give measurements for the first two.]
  3. The Fitzwilliam Museum (2000) Tempus, The Art of Time, Cambridge (Cambs.): The Fitzwilliam Museum [page: pp. 30-1]
    [comments: Publ. pp. 30-1, and pl. 30]
  4. Nightingale, J.E. (1881) Contributions towards the History of Early English Porcelain from Contemporary Sources, Salisbury [page: pp. 22, 58]
    [comments: Ref. The porcelain group was mentioned in the catalogue of the first Chelsea and Derby sale held by Mr Christie from 17 to 20 April 1771, on the second day, lot 25: 'A curious figure of Time clipping of (sic) Cupid's wing, finely enamel'd and ornamented with burnish'd gold 1l. 9s'. See Appendix, p.22. lot 25. It was also mentioned in the Christie and Ansell sale of Derby and Chelsea on 17 April 1780, first item 'A fine large figure of Time and Cupid 11s. 6d.' see Appendix, p. 58, no lot number.]
  5. Mabille, Gérard (1977) Une terre cuite de Corbet: Le Temps coupant les ailes de l'Amour, [page: pp. 89-93]
    Source title: La Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France (
    [comments: Ref. The Louvre has a larger terracotta of this subject by Charles-Louis Corbet which is dated 1776, see Mabille, Gérard, 'Une terre cuite de Corbet: Le Temps coupant les ailes de l'Amour', La Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France, (2-1977), pp. 89-93, figs. 1-3, the Van Dyck, fig. 5, the Perrier print, fig. 5. This is very close to the painting, and seems likely to have been derived from the English print, which appears not to have been known to Mabille.]
  6. Rackham, Bernard (1928) Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Ceramics, Catalogue of English Porcelain, Earthenware, Enamels and Glass collected by Charles Schreiber Esq., M.P., and the Lady Charlotte Elizabeth Schreiber, and presented to the Museum in 1884, Volume I, Porcelain, London [page: p. 70]
    [comments: Cf. An example in the Victoria and Albert Museum, see p. 70, no. 343]
  7. Ramsay, L.G.G. A Masterpiece of Clockmaking, [page: p. 230]
    Source title: Connoisseur (1956)
    [comments: Cf. A biscuit example with a clock by Benjamin Vuilliamy at Buckingham Palace, see p. 230, fig. 1. CHECK.]
  8. Barrett, Franklin Allen (1971) Derby Porcelain 1750-1848, London: Faber
    [comments: Cf. A biscuit example, in Derby Museum, pl. 92]
  9. Rice, Dennis G. (1983) Derby Porcelain: The Golden Years, 1750-1770, Newton Abbot: David & Charles [page: 47, 127, 193]
    [comments: Cf. p. 127, pl. 81, and pp. 47, and 193, no. 81. Dated after 1770.]
  10. Bradshaw, Peter (1990) Derby Porcelain Figures 1750-1848, London: Faber & Faber [page: p. 269]
    [comments: Cf. An example in a private collection, p. 269, no. 124]
  11. Christie's (1991) Christie's Sale Catalogue, London11th February 1991)
    [comments: Cf. lot 99]
  12. Christie's (1992) British Ceramics, London: Christie's [page: p. 25] 16th November 1992)
    [comments: Cf. p. 25, lot 77 (unsold)]
  13. Sworders (2008) The Autumn Country House Sale, Stansted Mountfichet [page: 59] 23-24 September 2008)
    [comments: Cf. p. 59, lot 325. H. 32 cm. Estimate £400-7600]

Other Notes

Cf. A smaller example in The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle (X 3374).

Accession Number

C.38-1932 (Applied Arts)
(Reference Number: 42667; Input Date: 2002-02-26 / Last Edit: 2011-07-22)

Related Object

C.894-1928 - Time Clipping the Wings of Cupid

Related Image/s

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