Martin Folkes Wedgewood Black Basalt Portrait Medallion (1760's prototype?)
Martin Folkes (1860-1754) was an important English Mathematician, Astronomer, and Numismatist. He was elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society at age 23, and served as Vice President of the Royal Society from 1723-1727 under then Society President Sir Isaac Newton. He became President of the Royal Society in 1741.Folkes was also a member of the Society of Arts and the French Académie des Sciences.
This is an early Wedgewood black basalt portrait medallion of Martin Folkes, likely produced in 1769 prior to Josiah Wedgewood's partnership with Thomas Bentley. The bust of Folkes is based upon a medal executed by the Swiss artist Jacques-Antoine Dassier (1715-1759) during his stay in England between 1740 and 1745. In Wedgewood, the Portrait Medallions Reilly and Savage indicate that Martin Folkes was listed in the Wedgewood-Bentley catalogues of 1773 and 1779 and list it on page 140, however they were unable to obtain an example of the rare Folkes Wedgewood medallion, so instead pictured a Tassie glass paste medallion of the same design from the British Museum.