Baxter, Thomas (1782-1821) (DNB00)

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BAXTER, THOMAS (1782–1821), china painter, of whom an account is given in ‘A Century of Potting in the City of Worcester,’ by R. W. Binns, 1877, was born in Worcester on 18 Feb. 1782. His father had workshops in London, connected with Worcester, for painting and gilding china; and Baxter received his first instruction from him. He was a fellow student of B. R. Haydon at the Royal Academy, as appears from a letter written by Baxter to Haydon in 1819. He was patronised by Lord Nelson, and was often employed by him in making sketches at Merton. He also painted for him a rich dessert service. In his paintings upon china he introduced figures from the works of Reynolds, West, and other well-known painters. In 1814 he left Worcester and established an art school in London, and had pupils who were afterwards distinguished in their special line. In 1816 he connected himself with Dillwyn's factory at Swansea, and was there three years. His great work at that place, which from the description of it must have been remarkable rather for ingenuity than for good taste, was a ‘Shakespeare Cup.’ In 1819 he returned to Worcester, and was again employed at Messrs. Flight & Barr's, and afterwards at Messrs. Chamberlain's factory. He died in London, 18 April 1821. He made some drawings for Britton's ‘Salisbury Cathedral,’ and two ‘very clever’ copies of the ‘Portland vase.’

[Binns's Century of Potting at Worcester, 1877; Redgrave's Dictionary of the English School; Jewitt's Ceramic Art of Great Britain, ii. 440.]

E. R.