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Medallion - Conyers Middleton
  • Conyers Middleton
    Pozzo, Giovanni Battista, born 1670 - died 1752
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Conyers Middleton

  • Object:

    Medallion

  • Place of origin:

    Rome (made)

  • Date:

    1724 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Pozzo, Giovanni Battista, born 1670 - died 1752 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ivory, carved

  • Museum number:

    A.16-1941

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is an ivory version of a bronze medal by Giovanni Battista Pozzo (1670-1752), made in Rome in 1724. Conyers Middleton (1683-1750) was the first Chief Librarian of Cambridge University; on the reverse of this ivory medallion is a table with open books and bookshelves behind. Middleton commissioned the bronze medal when he was in Rome as a record of the eminence of Cambridge University and its library, having found that the Librarian of the Vatican assumed that Cambridge was only a school to prepare youths for Oxford. The subject was both a scholarly writer and a collector of antiquities, coins and gems. He was one of a circle of antiquarian visitors within the circle of Baron Philipp von Stosch (1691-1757), a resident of Rome, likewise a collector of gems, who had visited England in 1712, and who additionally acted as a spy for the British in Rome. Stosch may well have suggested Middleton should have his portrait carved in ivory by Pozzo.

Physical description

Place of Origin

Rome (made)

Date

1724 (made)

Artist/maker

Pozzo, Giovanni Battista, born 1670 - died 1752 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Ivory, carved

Marks and inscriptions

'ACADEMIAE CANTABRIGIENSIS PROTO BIBLIOTHECARIUS'.
On reverse.

Dimensions

Diameter: 8.6 cm

Object history note

Purchased from Mr M. Hakim in London for £4 4s., Leicester Square, in 1941.

Descriptive line

Medallion, ivory, Conyers Middleton, by Giovanni Battista Pozzo, Italian (Rome), 1724

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bowron, E.P and Rishel, J.J (eds.) Art in Rome in the Eighteenth Century Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2000, p. 230
Vilbach, W.F. Catalogue of Ivories Berlin. Philipp von Stosch. 1928, p. 77
Nichols, J. Literary Anecdotes. V, p. 420
Forrer, L. Biographical Dictionary of Medallists. London: Royal Numismatic Society, IV, p. 681, VI, pp. 702-4, VIII, pp. 225-6
Theuerkauff, C. Die Bildwerke in Elfenbein des 16-19. Jahrhunderts Berlin, 1986, pp. 241-248
Hinton, J. 'Collecting Roman Medals. Anthony Morris Clark and the Philadelphia Museum of Art', The Medal Autumn 2005, no. 47, fig. 4 on p. 17 and p. 16
Scott, J. The Pleasures of Antiquity British Collectors of Greece and Rome. London, 2003, p. 61 and note 16 on p. 295
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, cat. no. 301, pp. 306, 7

Materials

Ivory

Techniques

Carved

Categories

Portraits; Medallions

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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