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Intaglio Mould of Marcus Tullis Cicero ( 106-43 B.C) - 1769

Intaglio Mould of Marcus Tullis Cicero, Alastair Guy (photography), © Wedgwood Museum
    Intaglio Mould of Marcus Tullis Cicero, Alastair Guy (photography)
    © Wedgwood Museum

Wedgwood and Bentley, Biscuit ware intaglio mould of Cicero in profile.

Wedgwood and Bentley, Biscuit ware intaglio mould of Cicero in profile. Cicero is most famous for being Consul during the war between Caesar and Pompey. Cicero chose the side of Pompey, but after the battle of Pharsalia, and Pompeys defeat he was greeted by Caesar with warmth and allowed to return to Rome. He returned to public life after the death of Caesar in 44, and strongly attacked Marc Antony. When Antony prevailed, Cicero endeavoured to escape, but was caught and assasinated near Formiae.

  • Type of object: Manufacturing paraphernalia and miscellany/mould
  • Mark: 249 (inscribed)
    249 (ink)
    CICERO (ink)
  • Year produced: 1769
  • Body: biscuit
  • Material: ceramic
  • Accession number: 850
  • Dimensions: 35 mm (width), 43 mm (depth)

Related people

  • Marcus Tullius Cicero

    Marcus Tullius Cicero

    Marcus Tullius Cicero was widely considered as one of Rome's greatest orators. He was born 3rd January 106 BC and died 7th December 43 BC. He was also known as a philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. As an author he was already in antiquity regarded as an inspiring example for stylistic finesse and his works have been imitated as a model for sublime eloquence. Regarding philosophy it was him who made Greek philosophical ideas accessible to the Latin speaking world by translating them into Latin. Sometimes it is only his translations that have come down to us because the Greek originals are lost. Cicero, and his brother, Quintus, displayed such exceptional talent at an early age that their father removed to Rome to further their education. Cicero became an advocate, beginning probably in 81 when he defended P. Quintus, and in the following year he defended Sextus Roscius against a charge of parricide. Cicero went to Greece in 79, partly for health reasons. He returned to Rome in 77, and at once began again the practice of oratory with great success. In 70 he distinguished himself in the prosecution of Verres on charges of extortion during his term of office as proprietor of Sicily, and Verres fled to Marseilles in consequence. In 63 the election of Cicero as consul coincided with the outbreak of the conspiracy of Catiline which Cicero suppressed, and for this he was awarded the title of ‘Father of his Country’. After the close of his term as consul he was attacked by the popular party, and those who had been friendly with the conspirators, and he was refused help by Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey. Cicero retired voluntarily from Rome, but was recalled in 50. During the war between Caesar and Pompey, Cicero chose the side of Pompey, but after the battle of Pharsalia he was greeted by Caesar with warmth and allowed to return to Rome. He returned to public life after the death of Caesar in 44, and strongly attacked Mark Antony. When Antony prevailed, Cicero endeavoured to escape, but was caught and assassinated near Formiae. His head and hands were cut off and sent to Antony in Rome. A considerable amount of his writing discussing rhetoric and philosophy has survived, and upwards of eight hundred letters on a diversity of topics.

Glossary

  • Intaglio

    Intaglio

    An Italian term meaning a design created by incising and carving below the surface, which is flat and even, and the opposite of a cameo where the design is in relief. Wedgwood made intaglios in basalts and various coloured dry bodies for use as seals, either mounted in holders or in signet rings. Those intended for mounting in holders could be purchased with shanks for the purpose.

    Early intaglios were polished. They were impressed with the catalogue number, as well as the initials 'W & B' or (after Bentley's death in 1780) 'Wedgwood'. About 1,700 different subjects were available, most of them also to be had in cameo form. They could be obtained in double form, mounted back - to - back, or mounted similarly in conjunction with a cameo of the same size. As in the case of cameos production started in 1771, and to have been well established by 1772.