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Portrait plaque of Vespasian - 1850

Portrait plaque of Vespatian, © Wedgwood Museum
    Portrait plaque of Vespatian
    © Wedgwood Museum

Moulded portrait head of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. Facing left, wearing a coronet of laurel leaves with long ribbon. This may have been an experiment piece and not part of general production as no other portrait medallions of this subject have been found.

Moulded portrait head of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. Facing left, wearing a coronet of laurel leaves with long ribbon. This may have been an experiment piece and not part of general production as no other portrait medallions of this subject have been found. Vespasian was the 9th Roman Emperor after taking the position through a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. Vespasian was born in AD 9 and ruled for 10 years before dying in AD 79 at the age of 69. During his life he was known for his military victory in crushing the Jewish rebellion in Judea and further conquering Britain, he is also credited with financial reforms across the empire and finally the building of the Colosseum (which was completed by his son). Although other than this not much is known about his reign.

  • Type of object: Plaques and medallions/plaque
  • Mark: WEDGWOOD [Incised]
    Vespasian [Incised]
  • Year produced: 1850
  • Body: parian
  • Material: ceramic
  • Decoration: moulded
  • Accession number: 4097
  • Dimensions: 151 mm (length), 122 mm (oval diameter)

Related people

  • Vespasian Subject

    Vespasian - Subject (09__ - 79__)

    Born in AD 9 in Italy, Vespasian became the 9th Emperor of the Roman Empire in AD 69. He founded the Flavian Dynasty which was to rule the Empire for a quarter century. Regarded as a successful military commander, he participated in the invasion of Britain. Little information survives relating to the Government during his ten year reign, but he was known for his financial reforms and ambitious construction projects, such as the building of the Colosseum. He was succeeded as Emperor on his death in AD 79 by his son Titus.

Glossary

  • Parian Ware

    Parian Ware

    Parian - a type of bisque porcelain. Named after the Greek island of Paros (renowned for its fine textured white marble of the same name), Parian was designed to imitate carved marble. It could be prepared in liquid form and cast in a mould thus enabling mass production.