Wedgwood and Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson visited London in 1786, and, although it is not recorded in extant Wedgwood documentation, he may have personally chosen the Wedgwood jasper plaques which were used in the dining room of his house at Monticello in Virginia, USA. Jefferson was interested in Palladian architecture and built his house in this style. The dining room’s chimney-piece has a centre-piece containing a jasper plaque featuring four of the nine Muses. On each side of the Muses panel Jefferson incorporated a bas-relief design of an urn, and the outer ends of the chimney-piece contained Wedgwood plaques featuring Apollo, and a further Muse, Urania – the Muse of Astronomy.
Also in the Monticello dining room is a late 18th century mirror, inset at the top with a large Wedgwood plaque of the Sacrifice to Bacchus.

Images

The dining room at Monticello, showing the jasper tablets in the mantelpiece

The dining room at Monticello, showing the jasper tablets in the mantelpiece