One of a set of four large figures of soft-paste porcelain representing the "Four Quarters of the Globe," each depicted as a chubby child dressed in a costume deemed appropriate to his or her region and associated with symbols of the different continents.

America: the figure of a male Caribbean native child with red skin wearing a colorful feathered costume and headdress and carrying a quiver of arrows slung over his right shoulder, his left hand holds a bow, under his right foot and resting against a stump decorated with flowers is a small green caiman with open mouth.

America, from the Set of Figures “Four Quarters of the Globe”

Derby Porcelain Manufactory, William Duesbury & Co.

1765-1775

This figure represents one of the four continents known to man during the late eighteenth century. Each is dressed in accordance with established notions about the traditional garb of the people of his or her continent and is surrounded by objects or animals indigenous to the region.


Europe, the queen of all continents, wears a crown. North and South America were considered one continent during the eighteenth century, and were usually personified by a Native American, always depicted with red skin. The exotic continent of Asia is shown wearing expensive silks and holding spices and perfumes. Africa holds a cornucopia filled to the brim with sheaves of wheat—a reference to the land of plenty—as well as a scorpion, symbol of mystery and danger.