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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Joseph Wilton, British (London, England 1722 - 1803 London, England)
William Pitt (1708 - 1778)
William Pitt, Earl of Chatham (1708-1778)
Work Type
bust, sculpture
Creation Place: Europe, United Kingdom
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Composite ceramic
68 x 42 x 19 cm (26 3/4 x 16 9/16 x 7 1/2 in.)
socle: 10.8 × 20.3 × 20.3 cm (4 1/4 × 8 × 8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: back, incised, English: Wm. Pitt / Earl of Chatham


Recorded Ownership History
Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia, gift; to Harvard University, 1769

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard University Portrait Collection, Gift of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, 1769
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Louise Todd Ambler, Early Science at Harvard: Innovators and Their Instruments, 1765 - 1865, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, December 1969-January 1970), p. 13
  • H. Wade White, "Nineteenth Century American Sculpture at Harvard, a Glance at the Collection", Harvard Library Bulletin (Cambridge, MA, October 1970), vol. XVIII, no. 4, p. 359
  • Louise Todd Ambler, Benjamin Franklin: A Perspective, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1975), no. 33, ill. p. 68
  • Sandra Grindlay, "Harvard's Portraits: An American Treasure", Harvard University Art Museums Review (Fall 1992), vol. II, no. 1, pp. 6-7, p. 6
  • John T. Bethell, Richard M. Hunt, and Robert Shenton, Harvard A to Z, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 2004), p. 276
  • "A Layered History", Index Magazine, Harvard Art Museums (September 19, 2017), repr.,, accessed October 19, 2017
  • Jonathan Shaw and Jennifer Carling, "The Lost Museum: Teachings of the Philosophy Chamber, Recreated", Harvard Magazine (Cambridge, MA, 2017), pp. 42-49, p. 43
  • Ethan Lasser, ed., The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2017), p. 79, plate 15; p. 47 in María Dolores Sánchez-Jáuregui's "A Repository of Gifts"; pp. 236-248. Figs. 1-4 and 7 (details), 5, 8-12 (technical exam images) in Anthony Sigel, Claire Grech, and Katherine Eremine's "Harvard's First Sculpture"
  • Brian D. Gallagher, Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries, exh. cat., The Mint Museum (Charlotte, 2020), pp. 45-46, repr. p. 46 as fig. 24

Exhibition History

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Verification Level

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at