Nathaniel Marchant

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Nathaniel Marchant RA (1739–1816) was an English gem engraver.


Nathaniel Marchant - Ring with Intaglio of Marcellus - Walters 421137

Marchant was born in Sussex in 1739. He studied under Edward Burch, and in 1766 became a member of the Incorporated Society of Artists.

In 1773 he went to Rome, where he remained until 1789, when, having already gained a considerable at reputation for his engraved gems, he returned to London.[1]

He was noted as a sculptor of intaglios, medals, and poetical designs for cameos[1] His subjects included copies from the antique, adaptations of famous paintings and portraits of his contemporaries.[2] He held several appointments, including as assistant engraver to the mint, gem sculptor to the Prince of Wales, engraver to the king,[1] and from 1800, engraver to the Stamp Office.[2]

He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1791 and a full academician in 1809. When elected to the academy, Marchant originally offered a set of impressions of gems he had cut as his diploma work.They were however rejected on the grounds that they were not, as required by the Academy, " original work". He then sent a cast of a female head, which was also declined "casts not being deemed admissible from sculptors." He finally he submitted a gem which was accepted.[1]

In 1792 he published a catalogue of a hundred of his gems.[2]

He died in 1816.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Hodgson, J. E.; Eaton, Frederick A. (1905). The Royal Academy and its Members 1768-1830. London: John Murray.
  2. ^ a b c "Nathaniel Marchant (Biographical details)". British Museum. Retrieved 26 May 2016.

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