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Block mould for a portrait medallion depicting George Washington - 1789

Block mould for a portrait medallion depicting George Washington
    Block mould for a portrait medallion depicting George Washington

This portrait was modelled in 1789 after an etching by Joseph Wright, son of Patience Wright - the renowned modeller in wax. Four different designs of portrait medallion were made of Washington, and a fifth design was created which was based on two of the existing portraits. The Wedgwood manuscript collection refers to portrait medallions of George Washington, specifically documents of the 17th and 19th July 1777 (E25-18771-18772)

This portrait was modelled in 1789 after an etching by Joseph Wright, son of Patience Wright - the renowned modeller in wax. Four different designs of portrait medallion were made of Washington, and a fifth design was created which was based on two of the existing portraits. The Wedgwood manuscript collection refers to portrait medallions of George Washington, specifically documents of the 17th and 19th July 1777 (E25-18771-18772)

  • Type of object: Manufacturing paraphernalia and miscellany/mould
  • Mark: Washington (Indistinct)
    Washington
    [Written in ink]
  • Year produced: 1789
  • Body: Plaster of Paris
  • Glaze: unglazed
  • Material: ceramic
  • Accession number: 2909
  • Dimensions: 94 mm (length), 77 mm (width), 23 mm (depth)

Related people

  • George Washington (1732-1799) Subject

    George Washington (1732-1799) - Subject

    First president of the United States, born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Although Washington’s education was limited, he was an adjutant-general of his native state at nineteen, and a major soon afterwards. When the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was drawn up the boundaries of French and English territories in North America were not properly defined, and continual disputes arose between officers of the two countries. Major Washington was appointed by the governor of Virginia to negotiate with a French and Native American force which threatened English frontiers, but he was only temporarily successful in avoiding hostilities, and when war was seen to be inevitable he was rapidly promoted to the colonelcy of a regiment raised for the defence of the colony, to the command of which he was afterwards appointed. When the war of independence broke out he immediately joined the cause of the Colonists, and was responsible for infusing a disciplined spirit into a chaotic situation. The necessity for cautious defence is a severe trial to the morale of an army, but Washington succeeded even in this difficult situation. With the successful conclusion of the war he retired into private life, but the administration that replaced the British was both corrupt and incompetent, and a convention assembled at Philadelphia to strengthen the bonds of Federal union and to bestow on Congress the power necessary for good government. Washington was president of this convention, and three years later he became first President of the United States. Events elsewhere demanded the utmost political skill in a dangerous situation, particularly the outbreak of the Revolution in France, which had been allied to the States during the war of Independence, and Washington had little confidence in its beneficial operation. At the same time he managed to preserve good relations with France. These difficulties were not calculated to make government of the newly emerged United States particularly easy, but Washington was not to be deterred from his policy of moderation, and he was re-elected for a second term. He retired to Mount Vernon in 1798, when the contumelious French made it essential for the U.S to arm by sea and land. Command of the land forces was given to Washington, and this he held till his death on the 14th December 1799, the twenty-third year of independence, of which he may truly be regarded as the founder.

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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