- Also known as
primary name: Tassie, James
- individual; ceramicist/glass worker/potter; designer; manufacturer/factory; British; Male
- Life dates
- 4, the East side of Leicester Fields, London
- Scottish manufacturer of impressions of intaglio gems and of glass paste portrait cameos. Born near Glasgow; trained as a stonemason, learnt modelling; became assistant in 1763 to Henry Quinn, a physician in Dublin whose pastime was making imitation gems, and together they invented a vitreous paste for use in making imitations and impressions of such items. Moved to London in 1766. Commissioned by Catherine the Great to supply her with a complete collection of gem imitations; later employed Eric Raspe to catalogue his own collection which totalled over 15,000 items.
Trade card in Banks Collection (Banks,66.47) advertises "Jas. Tassie, No.4, The East side of Leicester Fields."
The British Museum Archives contain Tassie’s letter dated 23 February 1786 in which he asks for permission to take impressions from BM gems which he wants to do in sulphur (ie take sulphur casts), see Original Letters and Papers 1785-1809, vol. 2, folio 623.
- DNB, vol. 16, q.v. James Tassie.
John Smith, 'James Tassie 1735-1799. Modeller in Glass', London 1995 (the best recent account)
John M. Gray, 'James and William Tassie. A biographical and critical sketch', London 1894 (reprinted 1974).
H. Merrillees, 'Catalogue of the Western Asiatic Seals in the British Museum: Cylinder Seals VI: Pre-Achaemenid and Achaemenid Periods', London 2005.