Not currently on display at the V&A

Thomas Best (1753-1815)

Relief
early 19th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, low relief portraits in wax became popular in Britain and they were often exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Society of Artists and elsewhere. Waxes were used in a similar way to prints and medals, in order to disseminate the image of the sitter, or, like miniature paintings or silhouettes as portable mementoes. The waxes were small and portable, and the nature of the material meant that they were extremely naturalistic. Sometimes they were coloured, and extra items added, such as textiles, seed pearls or coloured glass, to increase the life-like appearance of the portrayal.

Thomas Best lived at Park House in Boxley in Kent.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Wax
Brief Description
Wax, English, by Samuel Percy (1750-1820), early 19th century
Physical Description
Polychrome wax relief of subject in half-length, profile to the right.
Dimensions
  • Without frame height: 9.3cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'Percy No 583' (Inscribed on the frame in the front.)
  • 'Thomas Best, Park House, Boxley, Born Nov 1753-died 27th May 1815. Aged 71 [sic]'. His father was James Best, High Sheriff of Kent in 1751'. (Written on an old label on the back of the frame.)
Credit line
Rupert Gunnis Bequest
Object history
Bequeathed by Rupert Gunnis, Esq.
Subject depicted
Summary
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, low relief portraits in wax became popular in Britain and they were often exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Society of Artists and elsewhere. Waxes were used in a similar way to prints and medals, in order to disseminate the image of the sitter, or, like miniature paintings or silhouettes as portable mementoes. The waxes were small and portable, and the nature of the material meant that they were extremely naturalistic. Sometimes they were coloured, and extra items added, such as textiles, seed pearls or coloured glass, to increase the life-like appearance of the portrayal.



Thomas Best lived at Park House in Boxley in Kent.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
Crookshank, Anne. Irish Portraits 1660-1860 , London : Paul Mellon Foundation for British Art, 1969no.176
Collection
Accession Number
A.88-1965

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record createdMarch 17, 2004
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