Plaster cast of Matthew Boulton

Made:
1809
maker:
James Watt
Group shot of from left to right 1926-1075/35, Plaster mould, Boulton death mask, oval 3 3/4" x 3" and 1926-1075/40, 1

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Group shot of from left to right 1926-1075/35, Plaster mould, Boulton death mask, oval 3 3/4" x 3" and 1926-1075/40, 1
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

1 Plaster cast, marked on back "Matthew Boulton Esq. Reduced by Mr. Watt from a cast taken after his death in August 1809" oval 3 3/4" x 3", in a cardboard box

This item is part of the sculpture collection built by Scottish engineer James Watt, and which was kept for a long time in his garret workshop at his home, Heathfield, in Handsworth, Birmingham. The two most prominent objects in the workshop are a pair of sculpture copying machines dating to 1804-1809, one for producing reduced-sized and the other for equal-size copies. Building and using them was the main project that Watt undertook in the workshop. However, they built on his interest in sculpture which stretched back into the 1790s. Watt purchased items and then multiplied them in the workshop, making copies with his machines in different materials as well as taking casts using plaster. The project was a fitting end to Watt’s career, continuing his interest in precision manufacture and multiplying images of himself, his associates and many other subjects in a way which combined art and industry, precision manufacture and often inspiration from antiquity.

Details

Category:
James Watt's Garret Workshop
Object Number:
1926-1075/40
Materials:
compo and plaster
type:
plaster cast
credit:
Major J.M. Gibson-Watt