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Portrait Medallion of Dr Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802)

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Portrait Medallion of Dr Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802)


Wedgwood ()

Hackwood, William attributed to (modeler) [ULAN info: modeller (c. 1757-1839)]

Wright, Joseph (Wright of Derby) after (painter) [ULAN info: British artist, 1734-1797]


jasper ware


portrait medallion




Jasper, solid pale blue with white relief. Oval, with curved edge, and half-length figure of Dr Erasmus Darwin facing front, head slightly to his left, arms resting on a semi-circular table. On the reverse there is a randomly-placed cluster of twenty-three circular holes.

Production Notes

Model: attributed to William Hackwood, 1780.

The source for the model was one of three versions of the portrait of Darwin aged 38, in oils by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1779. The medallion was mentioned in the Oven Book on 19th and 26th February, 1780. The curved edges indicate that this example is of nineteenth century manufacture, probably after the reintroduction of a true jasper body in 1844.

Production Place

Etruria (modelled) (place) ()

Etruria (factory) (place) ()

Staffordshire (factory) (county)

England (factory) (country)

Technique Description

Jasper, solid pale blue with white relief


height: (whole): 14.9 cm
width: (whole): 12.0 cm


second half of 19th Century


circa 1850 to 1900


given: Rosenheim FSA, Max 1909-06-24 (Filtered for: Applied Arts collection)

unknown before donor

Given by Max Rosenheim, FSA


  1. mark
    Method: impressed
    Content: WEDGWOOD

  2. Position:
    Method: impressed
    Content: E.DARWIN

  3. Position: on the reverse
    Method: black ink
    Content: 149


  1. King-Hele, Desmond (1977) Doctor of Revolution, The Life and Genius of Erasmus Darwin, London?
    [comments: Ref. for the sitter]
  2. Keynes, Milo Portraits of Dr Erasmus Darwin, F.R.S., by Joseph Wright, James Rawlinson and William Coffee, [page: 71]
    Source title: Proceedings of the Royal Society (1994)
    [comments: Ref. Source for the relief.]
  3. (1978) Josiah Wedgwood: 'the Arts and Sciences United', [page: p. 75]
    [comments: Cf. A dark blue over white Jasper with white relief see p. 75, no. 238.]
  4. Hamlett, Lydia (2007) From Reason to Revolution, Art and Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Cambridge (Cambs.): The Fitzwilliam Museum
    [comments: Ref. for exhibition]

Other Notes

Accession Number

C.1-1909 (Applied Arts)
(Reference Number: 11331; Input Date: 2000-08-25 / Last Edit: 2011-07-22)

Related Object

C.20-1984 - Erasmus Darwin's Wedgwood Copy of the Portland Vase

Related Image/s

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