(British, Staffordshire, 1749–60)
Overall: 28 x 24.5 x 13.7 cm (11 x 9 5/8 x 5 3/8 in.)
Bequest of Mary Warden Harkness 1917.626
The creation of this triumphant personification of the nation was likely spurred on by Great Britain’s conflict with France in the Seven Years’ War (1756–63).
In this depiction of Britannia, the figure is surrounded by symbols of England’s power and military might. On one side, she and a lion, another symbol of Britain, support a shield adorned with the Union flag. Below it lay motifs associated with war such as armor, a trumpet, and a flag. On her left, Britannia presents a medallion to the viewer as she rests her feet on a globe, a symbol of the nation’s territorial aspirations. The portrait may depict the reigning king, George II (1683–1760), or Prince Frederick Louis (1707–1751), his recently deceased heir.
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