Tassie Medallion from the Collection of Sir Maurice Holmes
46. [MEDALLION]. TASSIE, James (attributed). Portrait medallion of Captain Cook. Untitled oval bas-relief profile of Captain Cook. N.p., n.d. [London? ca. 1790?-1798?]. Solid white enamel paste on white background. Approximately 5.5 x 7 cm (2-1/4 x 2-3/4 inches) visible. In contemporary oval brass frame, no glass, leather back. Penciled on rear on piece of paper affixed to backing: “Unknown Tassie #8.” Provenance: Sir Maurice Holmes.
James Tassie (1735-1799), of Scots origin, became famous originally for his work with gems. Later he branched out into medallions, such as the one here, and became equally celebrated for his work in this medium, issuing thousands of such medallions showing historical and contemporary luminaries. At his death, it is reported that he had a collection of about 20,000 pieces. His work was continued by his nephew William Tassie (1777-1860). ($7,500-15,000)
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