This exceptional blue and white jasperware plaque by Wedgwood & Bentley depicts a lively group of revelers at an ancient festival of Bacchus. Entitled Triumph of Bacchus, the scene includes a young Bacchus traveling in a chariot attended by a putto and satyr carrying a large jug full of wine. The design was modeled by William Hackwood in 1776, one of Wedgwood’s most skilled artisans and head of ornamental art for the firm.
In 1768, Josiah Wedgwood partnered with Thomas Bentley and established a factory named ‘Etruria’ for making ornamental wares like this plaque. The Wedgwood jasperware plaque cameos were often mounted to use as ornament, and they decorated furniture, walls and architectural treatments such as doorways, fireplaces and windows. Catherine the Great owned Wedgwood cameos, and Thomas Jefferson’s dining room at Monticello had Wedgwood cameos set in walls. The classical simplicity of jasperware is perfectly suited to the motif featured on this plaque, which pays tribute to ancient mythological revelry. An identical plaque by Wedgwood & Bentley resides in the British Museum (London) and the Birmingham Museum of Art (Birmingham, AL).
Stamped "Wedgwood & Bentley" on reverse
Plaque: 11 5/8" high x 14 3/4" wide
Wedgwood Jasperware, New York, 1994, by Robin Reilly, #147, (illustrated)
Lord Wantage Collection
William Bartlett Collection
Milton Milestone Collection
Sotheby Parke Bernet, Inc., New York, April, 6 1976
Skinner, Boston, April 3, 1993
Wedgwood International Seminar, Dearborn, May 5-7, 1966