Medal. Oval bas-relief profile portrait on blue jasper ground, applied white relief, impressed title “Capt. Cook”, impressed on back: “Wedgwood”. 100mm x 125mm. Framed in a contemporary oval beaded brass frame with suspension loop, under glass, brass backing with some verdigris patina, generally fine. Staffordshire, England.

SKU SF000683 Category


Responding to the eighteenth-century public fascination with, and adoration of, James Cook, which only increased with his tragic death, Josiah Wedgwood and Sons commissioned the leading English sculptor of the day, John Flaxman, to model several portraits in wax. From these Wedgwood produced three portrait medallions of Cook in their signature jasperware, in 1777, 1779 and this one in 1784. This fine bust profile portrait was adapted from the Royal Society’s memorial medallion, which had been executed by Lewis Pingo, and issued in 1779 to coincide with the publication of the narrative of the tragic third voyage. The portrait was reissued by Wedgwood in 1968 to mark the bicentenary of Cook’s first voyage, in an edition limited to two hundred.

Provenance: from the collection of Sir Maurice Holmes.

Additional information



Josiah Wedgwood