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Portrait Medallion of William Shakespeare (1564-1616): C.117-1933

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Portrait Medallion of William Shakespeare (1564-1616)


Factory: Wedgwood & Bentley
Modeler: Hackwood, William




Black basalt. Oval with raised moulded edge, and bust portrait of William Shakespeare in profile to left, the name 'SHAKESPEARE' impressed into the ground below the truncation. On the reverse is a vertical, approximately oval depression behind the bust, and at the top, a curved slot.


History note: Unknown before testator

Legal notes

A. V. Valentine-Richards Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 11.6 cm
Width: 9.4 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Etruria ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1933) by Valentine-Richards, A. V., The Rev


18th Century, Late
George III
Circa 1777 - 1780


The medallion was mentioned with one of Garrick in two letters from Josiah Wedgwood to Thomas Bentley on 26 November 1777 (Wedgwood MS E.25-18797) and on 22 December 1777 (E.25-18805). It was modelled by William Hackwood after a print. A Shakespeare produced in black basalt or blue and white jasper, with or without a frame of the same material, is mentioned in A Catalogue of Cameos, Intaglios, Medals, Busts, Small Statues, and Bas-Reliefs . . . . made by Wedgwood and Bentley . . ., 5th edn, London, 1779, p. 44, under Class X, Section I, English Poets, '6 Shakespeare, several Models'.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Materials used in production

Black basalt

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Location: Below the truncation
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Text: Wedgwood/& Bentley
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.117-1933
Primary reference Number: 11178
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 December 2023 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Portrait Medallion of William Shakespeare (1564-1616)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-20 23:17:45

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{{cite web|url= |title=Portrait Medallion of William Shakespeare (1564-1616) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-20 23:17:45|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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