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Portrait Medallion of Edward Bourne: C.165-2010

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Portrait Medallion of Edward Bourne


Factory: Wedgwood
Modeller: Hackwood, William




Pale blue jasper plaque with applied moulded white jasper bust portrait in relief.

Pale blue jasper plaque with applied moulded white jasper bust portrait in relief. The sitter, Edward Bourne faces to viewer’s right. He has a balding brown, short curly hair, and wears a neckcloth, waistcoat and coat with three buttons. The truncation is signed faintly 'W H(ac)kwo(od)/1779'. The back of the plaque is inscribed (but difficult to see because of the glass in the frame) ‘Mr Byrne/Brick layer/Etruria/1779’The plaque is set into an oval ebonized wood frame with an oval unglazed aperture at the front, and a smaller oval glazed aperture at the back. Inserted into the top of the frame is a modern brass (?)loop with a ring for suspension.


History note: The owner's family

Place(s) associated

  • Etruria ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (2009) by Keynes, W. M., Dr.


Late 18th century
George III
Production date: dated AD 1779 : The plaque does not bear the Wedgwood & Bentley mark and is therefore probably after 1780 when Thomas Bentley died.


This is one of very few original medallions by the modeller William Hackwood. The sitter, Edward Bourne, a bricklayer at Wedgwood's factory at Etruria, was known as ‘Old Bourne’. Josiah Wedgwood referred to Hackwood’s model for this portrait in a letter written in November 1778 (Wedgwood MS E 188662-26-21 November 1778). Two moulds survive, one of which is signed ‘Wm Hackwood 1779’, the other unsigned, but inscribed ‘Mr Bourne Bricklayer by Hackwood 1779’. This plaque is presumably later, as it does not bear the Wedgwood & Bentley mark. Thomas Bentley, Wedgwood's partner, died in 1780.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Plaque composed of jasper ware ( blue)
Relief composed of jasper ware ( white)
Frame composed of wood Height 13.5 cm Width 11.3 cm

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: WEDGWOOD
  • Location: On back of plaque
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: so faintly that the letters cannot be seen distinctly

  • Text: W. H(ac)kwo(od)/1779
  • Location: On truncation
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Signature
  • Text: Mr Byrne/Brick layer/Etruria/1779
  • Location: On back
  • Method of creation: Incised into plaque
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.165-2010
Primary reference Number: 178589
Entry form: 1039
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Wednesday 24 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Portrait Medallion of Edward Bourne" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-01-29 17:23:26

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{{cite web|url= |title=Portrait Medallion of Edward Bourne |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-01-29 17:23:26|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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