Am I not a Man and a Brother?

Commemorative bowl with abolitionist motifs, Waterford Wedgwood. Staffordshire, England, 2007, green and black Jasperware.
Private collection

Josiah Wedgwood pushed the industrialization of English ceramic production, but was also an active member of the newly formed Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. To support the movement, he had William Hackwood, his most talented modeller, design a medallion. It shows a chained black man kneeling. Next to it a line reads, “Am I not a Man and a Brother.” Wedgwood had the medallion produced and distributed at his own expense. Ladies of high society wore it as a brooch, hat pin or necklace, gentlemen wore it with their snuffboxes.