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Block mould for a portrait medallion depicting Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire - 1779

Block mould for a portrait medallion depicting Jean Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire
    Block mould for a portrait medallion depicting Jean Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire

This portrait was originally modelled by William Hackwood, and medallions produced from it were advertised in Wedgwood and Bentley's 1779 Catalogue. Wedgwood wrote to Bentley on the 26th August 1778 regarding portraits of Voltaire: 'Voltaire was made in black before we rec'd your last order. The clergy will buy him in that colour, & we will make him in white for the Laiety' (E25-18846). Medallions of Voltaire are also mentioned in documents of the 24th February 1776 (E25-18657) and 8th May 1779 (E26-18889).

This portrait was originally modelled by William Hackwood, and medallions produced from it were advertised in Wedgwood and Bentley's 1779 Catalogue. Wedgwood wrote to Bentley on the 26th August 1778 regarding portraits of Voltaire: 'Voltaire was made in black before we rec'd your last order. The clergy will buy him in that colour, & we will make him in white for the Laiety' (E25-18846). Medallions of Voltaire are also mentioned in documents of the 24th February 1776 (E25-18657) and 8th May 1779 (E26-18889).

  • Type of object: Manufacturing paraphernalia and miscellany/mould
  • Mark: Voltaire
    [Written in ink]
  • Year produced: 1779
  • Body: Plaster of Paris
  • Glaze: unglazed
  • Material: ceramic
  • Accession number: 2949
  • Dimensions: 59 mm (length), 51 mm (width), 9 mm (depth)

Related people

  • Voltaire Subject

    Voltaire - Subject (1694 - 1778)

    Born Francois-Marie Arouet in Paris in 1694, Francois would become best known by his 'nom de plume' - Voltaire. He was a French enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher advocating civil liberties such as free trade, freedom of religion, freedom of expression and campaigning for the separation of the Church and State. He wrote many books, novels, plays, poems and essays frequently using them to criticize intolerance and French Institutions of the day. He died in 1778 at the age of 84.

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.