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Tri-colour medallion depicting 'The Cupid Market' and 'Roman Altar of Eros' - 1788-1790

Tri-colour medallion depicting The Cupid Market and Roman Altar of Eros
    Tri-colour medallion depicting The Cupid Market and Roman Altar of Eros

Lilac and white on Etruria blue dipped jasper octagonal medallion with lapidary polished edges, depicting both 'The Cupid Market' and the 'Roman Altar of Eros'. 1788-1790.

Lilac and white on Etruria blue dipped jasper octagonal medallion with lapidary polished edges, depicting both 'The Cupid Market' and the 'Roman Altar of Eros'. 'The Cupid Market' is a scene where maidens desiring marriage would attend the sale of cupids. That scene was originally modelled in 1788 by William Hackwood, though the exact date of manufacture of this medallion is not known. It had been previously stated by Rathbone in his Catalogue of the Wedgwood Museum that the original design was by a French modeller Constant. In actuality Constant had also copied this scene as it became a popular design in France whilst the original inspiration came from a wall painting from Stabia, Italy which is now in a Neapolitan museum. It appears that, to make a slightly longer octagonal medallion, the additional relief of the 'Roman Altar of Eros' has been added to the right of the 'Market' scene. Although related through the Roman personifications and deities of love the Altar does not form part of the original source material. 1788-1790.

  • Type of object: Plaques and medallions/ medallion
  • Mark: WEDGWOOD
    [Impressed]
    20
    [Written in ink]
  • Year produced: 1788-1790
  • Body: Jasper
  • Glaze: unglazed
  • Material: ceramic
  • Decoration: dipped, ornamented, lapidary polished
  • Accession number: 5129p
  • Dimensions: 63 mm (length), 33 mm (width), 3 mm (depth)

Related people

  • William Hackwood Modeller

    William Hackwood - Modeller (1753 - 1836)

    Josiah Wedgwood first took on Hackwood at the Wedgwood Etruria factory in 1769. Wedgwood described him as an 'ingenious boy' - he was ultimately destined to become the chief modeller of the ornamental range at the Etruria factory. His forté was the production and modelling of portrait medallions - and he was particularly indispensable in the work of adapting busts, reliefs and designs that Wedgwood obtained from various sources. Many of the 18th-century portrait medallions are by his hand and include portraits of Josiah Wedgwood I, George III and Queen Charlotte. A few signed works also exist - the portraits of Garrick and Shakespeare were signed on the truncation, or just under the shoulder. Wedgwood disapproved of this practice and Hackwood was instructed not to repeat this.In 1774, Wedgwood wrote 'Hackwood is of the greatest value and consequence in finishing fine small work, and of this kind we have and shall have enough to employ him constantly'. Two years later he was further wishing that he had '....half a dozen more Hackwoods'. Hackwood continued working for Wedgwood at Etruria for 63 years and produced many bas reliefs and works that can be authenticated.