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Benedetto Pistrucci

(1783—1855) cameo cutter and medallist


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(b Rome, 24 May 1784; d Englefield Green, Surrey, 16 Sept 1855). Italian gem-engraver, medallist and sculptor, active in England. He was apprenticed to Roman gem-engravers, and in 1815 moved to England, where from 1816 he worked at the Royal Mint, producing coinage dies for George III and George IV; in 1828 he was appointed Chief Medallist (with William Wyon as Chief Engraver), and in this capacity made the official coronation medals for George IV and for Victoria. Pistrucci signed 14 medals, mainly private commissions, including grand pieces for the court goldsmiths, Rundell, Bridge & Rundell. Some 50 gems and cameos by him are known. Pistrucci gained some celebrity when he identified as his work an ‘antique’ cameo of Flora belonging to Richard Payne Knight. He made six portrait busts, including one of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1832; Stratfield Saye House, Hants), and a collection of 396 models in wax for medals, coins and gems is preserved in the Museo Numismatico della Zecca Italiana, Rome. His recently rediscovered Neo-classical marble Capriccio, c. 1830, is at Waddesdon Manor, Bucks, NT.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.


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