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Block mould for a portrait medallion depicting Carolus Linnaeus - 1779

Block mould for a portrait medallion depicting Carolus Linnaeus
    Block mould for a portrait medallion depicting Carolus Linnaeus

This portrait was modelled by John Flaxman Snr in January 1775, and his son, John Flaxman Jnr submitted the bill to Wedgwood on 19th January 1775. That bill, which remains in the Wedgwood Museum manuscript collection, mentions 'Moulding and making a cast from a Medall of Lennaeus Mending a wax medal and Making a mould from it' [sic], for which the sum of two shillings was charged. [Manuscript reference L204-1]. It is believed that the bill refers to an unsigned medal, an example of which is in the British Museum, and to an original wax portrait by Inlander, modelled in 1773. The first mention of this design being produced in jasper comes in a document of the 19th April 1777 [manuscript reference E-18748-25], whilst those medallions are first advertised in Wedgwood and Bentley's 1779 Catalogue. The block mould is likely to date from that period.

This portrait was modelled by John Flaxman Snr in January 1775, and his son, John Flaxman Jnr submitted the bill to Wedgwood on 19th January 1775. That bill, which remains in the Wedgwood Museum manuscript collection, mentions 'Moulding and making a cast from a Medall of Lennaeus Mending a wax medal and Making a mould from it' [sic], for which the sum of two shillings was charged. [Manuscript reference L204-1]. It is believed that the bill refers to an unsigned medal, an example of which is in the British Museum, and to an original wax portrait by Inlander, modelled in 1773. The first mention of this design being produced in jasper comes in a document of the 19th April 1777 [manuscript reference E-18748-25], whilst those medallions are first advertised in Wedgwood and Bentley's 1779 Catalogue. The block mould is likely to date from that period.

  • Type of object: Manufacturing paraphernalia and miscellany/mould
  • Mark: Linnaeus
    [Inscribed]
  • Year produced: 1779
  • Body: Plaster of Paris
  • Glaze: unglazed
  • Material: ceramic
  • Accession number: 2939
  • Dimensions: 90 mm (length), 72 mm (width), 21 mm (depth)

Related people

  • John Flaxman Jnr RA Associated

    John Flaxman Jnr RA - Associated (1754 - 1825)

    English sculptor, and designer, born in York, the son of a modeller and maker of plaster casts. The family moved to Covent Garden, London in 1756. In 1766 at the age of 11 Flaxman Jnr won a premium from the Society of Arts, now the Royal Society of Arts, enrolling three years later as one of the first students of the newly founded Royal Academy Schools. He exhibited for the first time at the Academy in 1770, and had come to the attention of the founder of the Wedgwood company, Josiah I himself, in 1771. By 1775 Flaxman Jnr had commenced to provide models and designs to the Wedgwood factory. Flaxman at Wedgwood’s behest went to Rome in 1787, where he remained, studying classical architecture and arts until 1794. During this period Flaxman supplied many important designs to Wedgwood. Amongst these can be numbered the famous ‘Apotheosis of Homer’ relief and vase; ‘Hercules in the Garden of Hesperides’; various bust subjects including Mercury, as well as the Josiah Wedgwood memorial in St Peter ad Vincula, Stoke-on-Trent’s parish church. Flaxman also supplied a huge range of portrait medallions and smaller sized bas reliefs for use by the firm.

  • Carolus Linnaeus (Carl von Linné) Subject

    Carolus Linnaeus (Carl von Linné) - Subject (1707 - 1778)

    Carolus Linnaeus, botanist and natural historian, was born in Sweden, and educated at Lund, and the University of Upsala. He became Professor of Medicine and Botany at Upsala at the age of thirty-four. He travelled widely in order to study minerals, but his most-valuable contribution to society was the system of classification he introduced for naturalists, which resulted in definitions of genera and species, and a uniform system of naming plants according to their nature. The portrait medallion of Linnaeus shows him with a plant, signifying his naturalist connections.

Glossary

  • Block mould

    Block mould

    The master mould often carved in wood, wax or low-fired earthenware from which working plaster of Paris moulds are taken.

  • Portrait Medallion

    Portrait Medallion

     

    A medallion, either circular or oval, made usually from black basalt or jasper, which features a head or head and shoulders study, rather than a relief of a classical nature.

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