© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Manufactured by Wedgwood, British (founded 1759 )
After Bernard de Montfaucon, French (1655 - 1741 Paris)
Diomedes with the Palladium
Medals and Medallions
Work Type
late 18th century
Creation Place: Europe, United Kingdom, England, Etruria
Physical Descriptions
Lavender jasperware body with blue central field; decorative border and figures in white relief
4.1 cm diam. x 0.5 cm depth (1 5/8 x 3/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • manufacturer's mark: verso, impressed: WEDGWOOD
  • gallery label: removed from verso, paper and black ink, printed and handwritten: [printed:] F. RATHBONE / South Kensington, / LONDON, S.W.; [handwritten:] Old Wedgwood / tri-colour medallion. / Diomedes. 1792 / Sir J. D. Hooker / colln.
Sir Joseph D. Hooker, sold; to [Frederick Rathbone, London, 1911], sold; to Grenville L. Winthrop, New York, NY, 1912, bequest, to Fogg Art Museum, 1943.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Label Text: The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820 , written 2017
Thanks to their durability and portability, coins from ancient Greece and Rome survive in large numbers. In the 18th century, scholars and antiquarians actively collected these artifacts, mining their inscriptions and the images on their reverse for evidence about the customs, agricultural practices, and built environment of the ancient world. Harvard’s collection included over one hundred ancient coins and 18th-century facsimiles, including “imitations of ancient coins” by the innovative British pottery firm Wedgwood and Bentley. They were
stored in cabinets like this mahogany example (TL41593) attributed to a prominent Boston workshop. Comprised of divided drawers that allowed for groups of coins or other specimens to be sorted into different classes and subclasses, these cabinets united the organizing logic of the Enlightenment with the aesthetics of high-style furniture.

Publication History

Eliza Meteyard, Memorials of Wedgwood, George Bell (London, England, 1874), pl. VI

Old Wedgwood from the Bequest of Grenville Lindall Winthrop, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1944), no. 26, p. 18

Jean Gorely, "Pedigreed Wedgwood", The Magazine Antiques (January 1945), pp. 29-31, p. 29

Jean Gorely, "Sir Joseph Hooker's Collection", Old Wedgwood, The Wedgwood Club, Wellesley Press, Inc. (Wellesley, MA, 1945), no. 12, pp. 78-85, repr. p. 80

Carol Macht, Classical Wedgwood Designs, M. Barrows and Co. (New York, NY, 1957), p. 43-44, repr. as plate 19

Ethan Lasser, ed., The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2017), p. 107, Plate 43c; p. 127, Plate 63 (contents of cabinet)

Exhibition History

Old Wedgwood from the Bequest of Grenville Lindall Winthrop, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/04/1944 - 09/03/1944

The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/19/2017 - 12/31/2017

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu