Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wedgwood Jasperware Plaque of Joseph Priestley

So long as I am blogging about all these likenesses of Joseph Priestley that I have collected over the years, I am adding, yet, another. This one is the plaque done in Jasperware by Josiah Wedgwood.  I will dig out some others that I have and post them as they become available when time permits.

This plaque is 10.8 cm by 8.7 cm. The portrait on the obverse side is of Joseph Priestley in profile of his right side.  The bas-relief image is in white with a Jasperware blue background.  The reverse side has the following information printed on it in gold lettering:
Dr. Joseph Priestley
Member of the Lunar Society
Discoverer o Oxygen
Friend of Josiah Wedgwood
This plaque was struck from the 
original model produced by
Josiah Wedgwood in 1779

Also, impressed into the plaque on the reverse side is the following:


Priestley and Wedgwood were both members of the Lunar Society in Birmingham between 1780 and 1791.  Priestley left Birmingham in 1791 after the Birmingham Riots where a mob burned his house and laboratory as well as his church to the ground. Among the various "sins" that this dissenting minister committed to cause these lawless acts were his outspoken support of both the American and French Revolutions.  This was a very unpopular position to take in England at the time.  Ultimately Priestley and his family emigrated to the United States, arriving in New York in 1794.

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