This coloured wax relief portrait offered in its original shadow box depicts actress Sarah Siddons (1755-1831) as Euphrasia in the play The Grecian Daughter. The tragedy by Arthur Murphy provided one of the actress’ most celebrated roles, seen by thousands of Georgian theatre-goers.
The relief is attributed to wax modeller, sculptor and cameo engraver Joachim Smith (c.1737-1814). He enjoyed early success and worked with Wedgwood and Bentley for a time, though by the late 1770s had proven unreliable, was declared bankrupt and had ceased to work there. It is possible he contributed some work later on, however. The wax piece is similar to an example from Wedgwood and Bentley’s ‘Illustrious Moderns’ series of 1784.
Dealer Sandy Rich, who runs Tregeagle, offers it for £600.
The business specialises in idiosyncratic and academic works of art, historical objects and ethnographica.