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Portrait Medallion of Dr Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802): C.1-1909

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Object information

Awaiting location update


Portrait Medallion of Dr Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802)


Factory: Wedgwood
Modeler: Hackwood, William (Attributed to)
Painter: Wright, Joseph (Wright of Derby) (After)




Jasper, solid pale blue with white relief. Oval, with curved edge, and half-length figure of Dr Erasmus Darwin facing front, head slightly to his left, arms resting on a semi-circular table. On the reverse there is a randomly-placed cluster of twenty-three circular holes.
The relief is modelled after the painting in oils by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1770


History note: Unknown before Max Rosenheim, FSA (1849-1911)

Legal notes

Given by Max Rosenheim, FSA

Measurements and weight

Height: 14.9 cm
Width: 12.0 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Etruria ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1909-06-24) by Rosenheim FSA, Max


19th Century, second half#
Circa 1850 CE - 1900 CE


Model: attributed to William Hackwood, 1780.

The source for the model was one of three versions of the portrait of Darwin aged 38, in oils by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1779. The medallion was mentioned in the Oven Book on 19th and 26th February, 1780. The curved edges indicate that this example is of nineteenth century manufacture, probably after the reintroduction of a true jasper body in 1844.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work


Materials used in production

white on solid pale blue Jasper ware

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: WEDGWOOD
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: E.DARWIN
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Text: 149
  • Location: On the reverse
  • Method of creation: Black ink

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.1-1909
Primary reference Number: 11331
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 27 June 2022 Last processed: Friday 8 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 Dr Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-14 06:18:16

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{{cite web|url= |title=Portrait Medallion of Dr Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-14 06:18:16|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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