Collection online

plaque

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1909,1201.186

  • Description

    Plaque, jasper ware, rectgangular, coloured blue, ornamented with a moulded applied relief in white jasper of the Crowning of a Kitharist/Apotheosis of Homer. Marked.

  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 1778-1779 (circa)
  • Production place

    • Factory in: Etruria term details
    • (Europe,United Kingdom,England,Staffordshire,Stoke-on-Trent,Etruria (England))
  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 14.9 inches
    • Width: 7.3 inches
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        maker's mark
      • Inscription Position

        reverse
      • Inscription Content

        WEDGWOOD
      • Inscription Comment

        Stamped twice.
  • Curator's comments

    Jenkins & Sloan 1996
    Made at Etruria after a design modelled by John Flaxman in 1778, and marked with his name.

    The inspiration for this decorative plaque is usually said to be an engraving in the third volume of AEGR (printed in 1776) after a vase now in the British Museum (see G&R 1772,0320.26). A letter from Thomas Bentley to Sir William, however, suggests that at the time Flaxman modelled the design in 1778, the engraving was unknown to Wedgwood and Bentley and that they had relied upon a drawing sent by d'Hancarville himself, who was now resident in England. The letter was written by Thomas Bentley on 26 February 1779 by way of explaining the gift of one of the plaques to Sir William: 'Having modelled a large tablet from one of the unpublished designs in your Excellency's collection at the British Museum, which we copied from a drawing lent us by Mr d'Hancarville ... we could not resist the desire of presenting you with a copy.' Bentley went on to quiz Hamilton on the subject of the vase, which Wedgwood and Bentley will have been told by d'Hancarville represented the Apotheosis of Homer. The latter gave this explanation in AEGR and repeated it in his manuscript catalogue of the Hamilton collection compiled in 1778. Hamilton was more circumspect about the subject in his letter of acknowledgement: 'I have the pleasure of receiving safe your delightful bas-relief of the Apotheosis of Homer, or some celebrated poet.'

    LITERATURE: Reilly, 1, pp.583-4, fig. 845; Ramage, 1990b, pp.74-5; Dawson, p.107; Young, p. 61, c8. The correspondence quoted is: Birmingham, Ala., Chellis Coll. MS (Bentley), and Barlaston, Wedgwood Museum, Wedgwood MS E32-5365 (Hamilton's reply dated Naples, 22 June 1779).

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Jenkins & Sloan 1996 60 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G47/dc2

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1909

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1909,1201.186

Plaque; jasper ware; the Crowning of a Kitharist/Apotheosis of Homer.

Plaque; jasper ware; the Crowning of a Kitharist/Apotheosis of Homer.

Reproduced by permission of the artist. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Image description

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