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Matthew Boulton and Josiah Wedgwood, Apostles of Fashion ERIC ROBINSON

Boulton and Wedgwood were face and obverse of the same medal, and while Wedgwood declared that Artes Etruriae renascuntur, Boulton might just as well have claimed that Artes Corinthiae resurgent. Moreover this resemblance was explicitly recognized by the two men themselves and by others in their society. Thus, in a letter to Boulton of 1771, in which he referred to Boulton’s project for mounting Wedgwood’s vases in metal, Wedgwood said: ‘You flatter me very agreeably with your desire to unite the powers of Corinth and E truria .’1 In the same letter Wedgwood had referred to a certain ‘Mr Antipuffado’ in the Public Ledger who was bracketing them together:

If you take in the Public Ledger you’l see Mr Antipuffado has done me the honor to rank me with the most stupendous genius’s of the Age and has really set me up very clearly. He talks too that he should not wonder if some enterprising Genius at Birmingham should be tem pted to make Roman medals, and tenpenny nails, or Corinthian Knives and Daggers and stile himself Roman medal and Etruscan tenpenny nail maker to the Empress of Abysinnia.