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A Profile Portrait Brooch of Pitt the Younger, 1795
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A Profile Portrait Brooch of Pitt the Younger, 1795

Measurements: 25mm x 20mm

£450

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Gold, enamel paste on glass. Relief portrait bust of Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger in the manner of James Tassie. The prime minister is depicted wearing high collared coat and hair en queue. Contained within a gilt mount with plain back and brooch fitting.

William Pitt the younger became Prime Minister in 1783 when only twenty-five years of age.  He remained eighteen years in office.  During his ministry he passed his restricted to power of the East India Company with his   India bill, ably conducted the administration of the government during the troublesome times of the French Revolution, restored order in Ireland after the rebellion of 1798 and in 1800 passed the bill for the Union of Great Britain and Ireland.  He was Prime Minister again from 1804 to 1806 when he died in office.  The news of the defeat of the Austrians and Russians by Napoleon at Austerlitz is said to have killed him.

James Tassie (1735-1799) gained celebrity in late 18th century London for miniature relief portrait busts and producing casts of antique engraved gems using a specially developed enamel paste. As the quality and character of his work became known, he received a commission from the Empress Catherine the Great causing the finest collections of antique gems in Europe to be thrown open to him for purposes of study and reproduction. He exhibited in the Royal Academy from 1769 to 1791.
In addition to his impressions from antique gems, Tassie executed profile medallion portraits of his contemporaries. His subjects were modelled in wax from the life or from drawings done from the life, and when this was impossible from other authentic sources.

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