Wedgwood Black Basalt Library Bust of Homer

  • The father of epic poetry is exquisitely rendered in this remarkable bust
  • Black basalt was one of Wedgwood's crowning achievements
  • Though blind, Homer's eyes are rendered with soulfulness and depth
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-4239

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The father of Greek epic poetry is exquisitely rendered in this black basalt library bust by the incomparable Wedgwood. In an incredible feat of craftsmanship, Wedgwood immortalized the attributed author of the Illiad and Odyssey with a flowing beard and curly hair, the sense of texture and movement remarkable for the dense medium of black basalt. Though reportedly blind, the bearded sage's sightless eyes are nonetheless rendered with remarkable soulfulness and depth. The front of the bust identifies the figure as 'HOMER,' and he is mounted on a squared flaring plinth.

Considered a crowning achievement of Wedgwood, black basalt was created by blending manganese with an iron-oxide rich slurry procured from coal mines called carr. In addition to the impressive color, this combination also provided additional strength and solidity. While it initially proved challenging to fire because of its weight, that same characteristic was an advantage to creating ornaments, lending stability to library busts and vases.

In Wedgwood's time, libraries were not considered properly well-furnished unless they were appointed with busts of great literary and historic figures, and the same can certainly be considered true today. This epic, important bust lends deep importance to any book collection or Wedgwood collection.

Early 19th century

Impressed uppercase mark

23 1/4“ high x 10 1/2" wide x 10 3/4" deep
Wedgwood Black Basalt Library Bust of Homer
Maker: Wedgwood
Period: 19th Century
Origin: England
Depth: 10.75 Inches
Width: 10.5 Inches
Height: 23.25 Inches
Style: Basalt

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