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Block mould for a portrait medallion depicting Holy Roman Emperor, Joseph II - 1788

Block mould for a portrait medallion depicting Holy roman Emperor, Joseph II
    Block mould for a portrait medallion depicting Holy roman Emperor, Joseph II

This portrait of Joseph II is by an unknown modeller. The source of the portrait is an engraving by the Viennese artist Jacob Adam in 1783. Portrait medallions with this design were listed for sale in Wedgwood and Bentley's 1788 Catalogue.

This portrait of Joseph II is by an unknown modeller. The source of the portrait is an engraving by the Viennese artist Jacob Adam in 1783. Portrait medallions with this design were listed for sale in Wedgwood and Bentley's 1788 Catalogue. Joseph II ruled as Holy Roman Emperor in the late 18th century and was known during his reign to be an enlightened absolutist monarch who followed liberal ideas but also believed in the power of the state in a heavily devolved government. He was born in 1741 and during his reign he was ambitious in pushing his reforms, he planned to reduce the power of the papacy and religion in general, partly for ideological reasons but also for power. He also believed in the lifting of feudal burdens of the peasantry, emancipate the serfs and remove restrictions of trade and knowledge. He was one of the enlightened monarchs of the age but his reforms met fierce resistance from conservative forces and the powers which where threatened by the change. Almost all of his reforms failed due to this and he died shortly after withdrawing them in 1790. He was the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and thus brother of Marie Antoinette. With no surviving offspring he was succeeded by his younger brother Leopold.

  • Type of object: Manufacturing paraphernalia and miscellany/mould
  • Mark: Emperor
    of
    Germany
    [Written in ink]
  • Year produced: 1788
  • Body: Plaster of Paris
  • Glaze: unglazed
  • Material: ceramic
  • Accession number: 2958
  • Dimensions: 111 mm (length), 91 mm (width), 30 mm (depth)

Related people

  • Joseph II Subject

    Joseph II - Subject (1741 - 1790)

    Born 1741, the brother of Marie Antoinette, Joseph ruled as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire from 1765 until his death in 1790 when he was succeeded by his brother Leopold. Joseph is ranked as one of the three great enlightenment monarchs alongside Catherine II of Russia and Frederick II of Prussia.

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.