Object Record

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Catalog Number 2009.6
Object Name Medallion
Title Medallion with Portrait of Benjamin Franklin
Artist William Hackwood (probable)
School Wedgwood
Date 18th c.
Description Wedgwood medallion, white on black jasper dip. Figure of Franklin is in profile, depicted in classical manner. Back of medallion has Wedgwood imprint and "Franklin" imprinted in script.
Label Made by the famed Wedgwood ceramics firm, this jasperware medallion was marketed as the "Classic Franklin." The artist was probably William Hackwood, a leading modeller who worked for the company for 63 years. Josiah Wedgwood, the firm's founder, described Hackwood as "Ingenious." In keeping with Wedgwood's strong support of the American Revolution, the company produced at least eight portraits of Franklin in the late 18th century. This portrait may be a loose adaptation of Isaac Gosset's 1766 wax profile in the APS collection (60.S.1). Wedgwood mentioned in a 1777 letter to his business partner that he was considering making a new Franklin image, without the "formidable wig and stiff English coat and waistcoat" seen in the Gosset portrait.
Medium Ceramic jasperware
Credit line American Philosophical Society. Gift at the bequest of B. Franklin Kahn, 2008.
Search Terms 18th century
eighteenth century
Founding Father