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Relief - Thomas Best (1753-1815)
  • Thomas Best (1753-1815)
    Percy, Samuel, born 1750 - died 1820
  • Enlarge image

Thomas Best (1753-1815)

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    early 19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Percy, Samuel, born 1750 - died 1820 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Rupert Gunnis Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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.

Physical description

Polychrome wax relief of subject in half-length, profile to the right.

Place of Origin

England (made)


early 19th century (made)


Percy, Samuel, born 1750 - died 1820 (maker)

Materials and Techniques


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.


Height: 9.3 cm without frame

Object history note

Bequeathed by Rupert Gunnis, Esq.

Descriptive line

Wax, English, by Samuel Percy (1750-1820), early 19th century

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

Crookshank, Anne. Irish Portraits 1660-1860 , London : Paul Mellon Foundation for British Art, 1969






Sculpture Collection

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