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Lot 427: c 1777 George Washington Medallion Roman Portrait Plaque. Wedgewood and Bentley
29 October 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
1777 George Washington Oval Portrait Wedgewood Medal
c. 1777 Revolutionary War Period, George Washington, White Basalt on Light Blue Jasper High Relief "Roman" Portrait Medallion Plaque, By Josiah Wedgewood and Thomas Bentley. Choice Mint.
This original, High Relief White Basalt on Light Blue Jasper, Oval Cameo Portrait Medallion is Extremely Rare. This medallion was modeled by William Hackwood of the firm Wedgwood & Bentley. The blue oval background measures about 2.25" tall x 2" wide (55cm tall x 46cm wide) and is clearly identified on the blank reverse "Wedgwood & Bentley." It has a classic Roman Style representation of Washington. This unnamed Portrait of George Washington is popularly known as the "Voltaire" bust. It was made by Wedgwood at the insistence of Voltaire himself. Since there were no official portraits of Washington available in England, this very classic style face was used as it seemed to display the principles for which Washington was known. Extremely Rare, missing in most advanced George Washington related collections. Every tiny detail of this beautiful classic Wedgewood Medal is sharp and distinct making this example perfect for display.
Benjamin Franklin corresponded with Joshua Wedgwood and his partner Thomas Bentley. Both supported the cause of American liberty. However, sometime later Wedgwood stopped his support of the Patriots as it hurt his business, while privately remaining a closet supporter of American freedom.