3 of 106 portraits of Edmund Burke
- Extended catalogue entry
Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue
by Thomas R. Poole
4 1/2 in. (114 mm) diameter
Inscriptionback to top
Inscribed on truncation: 1791/Poole; the wax partly discoloured and some black paint cracking on the supporting glass.
Label formerly verso reads: The Rt Honble Edmund Burke/Modelled from the Life/by T. R. Poole,/Medallion Modeller,/to his Royal Highness the/Prince of Wales.1
1 An ink inscription, formerly verso, reads: The Model to be hung in a side Light, and there was also a printed list of Poole’s prices, headed: ‘Mr Poole’s Models are durable in any Climate’, and ranging from 2 guineas for a copy of a Gentleman’s medallion, to 10 guineas ‘in Clerical Habit or Regimentals’; ‘Mr Poole continues to model free of expence, the Head of a Gentleman, on receiving a guarantee for twenty Copies’.
This portraitback to top
A likeness approved by Burke’s biographer James Prior,  who preferred it to Hoppner’s portrait of 1795-1801. Other examples show slight differences in the hair ribbon and neckcloth, e.g. two in English private collections, that engraved by T. W. Fry in 1823 (with the date 1795)  and that dated 1797 of which is there is a cast in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (PG 1878 as James Tassie). 
Footnotesback to top
1) J. Prior, Memoir of the Life and Character of the Right Hon Edmund Burke, 1826, II, p 411.
2) Listed by E. J. Pyke, A Biographical Dictionary of Wax Modellers, 1973, p 113; photographs NPG archive.
3) Other undated examples in the Victoria and Albert Museum (A.31.1970); sold Sotheby’s, 2 June 1975, lot 134, and 24 July 1978, lot 57 (see E. J. Pyke, Modellers (Supplement), 1981, p 33).
4) J. M. Gray, James and William Tassie, a biographical and critical sketch with a catalogue of their portrait medallions of modern personages, 1894, no.55; another example exhibited Benjamin Franklin and his Circle, New York, 1936 (208 as Tassie).
Referenceback to top
E. J. Pyke, A Biographical Dictionary of Wax Modellers, 1973.
Provenanceback to top
Presented by G. B. Croft-Lyons FSA through the National Art Collections Fund 1911.
This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.
View all known portraits for Edmund Burke
Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.
William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.
Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.