WSNY
The
Ars Ceramica Logo

2008, Number 24

Published September 2012

©2012 by The Wedgwood Society of New York, ISSN 1043-3317

  • President's Letter
  • “Blanc de Chine” Porcelain with Poetic Inscriptions by Rose Kerr
  • Investigating George Owen: The Lydia Starr Collection by John Sandon
  • Strainer Jugs and Their Uses by David M. Pendergast
  • More Master Craftsmanship by David M. Pendergast
  • R.T.H. Halsey as a Collector of Wedgwood Portrait Medallions:
    Frederick Rathbone’s Letters to the Founder of the American Wing. Part 3
    by Harwood A. Johnson
  • An Unlikely Combination: Polito’s Menagerie
    on a Paris Porcelain Plate
    by Robert Harrison
  • Book Review:
    This Blessed Plot, This Earth.
    English Pottery Studies in Honour of Jonathan Horne

    Edited by Amanda Dunsmore
    Reviewed by Anne Forschler-Tarrasch
  • In Memoriam: Tom Walford, 1933-2012

Cover Image

On the cover:a Wedgwood & Bentley portrait medallion of Benjamin Franklin.
R.T.H. Halsey, the founder of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, collected Wedgwood
portrait medallions of American interest and had a particular fascination with Benjamin
Franklin. Most of Halsey’s medallions were purchased from Frederick Rathbone, a London
dealer who specialized in Wedgwood. In 1905, the collection of Sir Richard Tangye, a
Birmingham manufacturer, came onto the market. It included this large portrait medallion of
Benjamin Franklin. Rathbone wrote to Halsey, “You will know by my cable that I have secured
the large Franklin, Friday, on receipt of your cable. I wrote to Sir Richard saying that my
instructions were to buy the portrait on best possible terms and proposing I should come out to
day and arrange, if he did not wire to the contrary. But he did, that he was sending it by footman.
Arrived at one o’clock and a very fine portrait it is!” This example may be the very one that
Halsey purchased from Rathbone. The three-part transcription of the Rathbone-Halsey letters
at Winterthur concludes in this issue starting on page 38. Pale blue ground dipped darker blue,
c. 1780, impressed WEDGWOOD & BENTLEY mark, 10 7/8" x 8" (27.6 x 20.3 cm). Brooklyn
Museum, Gift of Emily Winthrop Miles, 57.180.4.

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