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James Tassie (1735-1799)
Artist associated with 19 portraits
Tassie was a gem engraver and modeller known for reproductions of engraved gems and for portrait medallions, both made from a hard, fine-textured substance that he developed with a physician, Henry Quin. Having trained as a stonemason, in 1763 Tassie moved to Dublin, where he worked as laboratory assistant to Quin. Together they devised a white enamel composition especially suited for gemstone replicas. In 1766, Tassie moved to London, where he received commissions to duplicate many famous gems, both ancient and modern. Tassie's portrait medallions, his best-known original works, included many eminent contemporaries among their subjects. They were modelled from life in wax and cast in white paste.
by James Tassie
glass paste medallion, 1780