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.

Europe: the figure of a female child wearing a white tunic decorated with flowers and cinched together with a yellow ribbon, over her shoulders she wears draped a yellow and red cloak, at her feet are symbols of the arts, sciences, and religion such as paintbrushes and a painter's palette, sheet music, books, and a bishop's miter scattered amongst flowers, in her right had she holds an orb, her left hand raised and outstretched, on her head a crown.

Europe, 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.