British Museum guidebook, £3.50
Length: 33.000 cm
Width: 28.000 cm
Gift of Sir A.W. Franks
M&ME 1891,2-17,16;M&ME 1891,2-17,17
Room 46: Europe 1400-1800
Enamel portrait plaques of King George III and Queen Charlotte, painted by William Hopkins Craft
England, AD 1773
Allegorical royal portraits
King George III (reigned 1760-1820) and Queen Charlotte were both great patrons of the arts. The King was a renowned collector of Italian art, and Queen Charlotte was known for her patronage of Josiah Wedgwood I. Wares made from a refined creamware (cream-cloured earthenware) body were called 'Queen's Ware' in her honour after around 1765.
The King is represented as a Roman warrior, with attributes referring to victorious battles on land and sea, while the Queen, also dressed in classical costume, is seen in an idealized classical landscape.
enamel plaques, Craft's (1730?-1810) earliest known works,
represent his great technical skill and high artistic achievement.
His distinctive style and large-scale work is unusual among
enamellers in England in the mid-eighteenth century. He exhibited
allegorical plaques, portrait miniatures, larger portrait plaques,
Craft was in partnership with David Rhodes around 1769-70 when invoices for enamelling on creamware and basalt were submitted to Wedgwood.
A.J. Toppin, 'William Hopkins Craft, enamel painter (1730?-1810)', Transactions of the English Ce, 4: 4 (1959), pp. 14-18, plate 12
R. Reilly, Wedgwood (London, Macmillan, 1989)