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Object Name: Figure of Benjamin Franklin
Date: ca. 1800
Related People:
Medium: Earthenware
Dimensions: Overall: 13 1/2 x 4 x 4 in. ( 34.3 x 10.2 x 10.2 cm )
Place made: Europe, England
Description: Full length earthenware figurine of Benjamin Franklin in green coat, yellow trousers and dark purple cape, with book in right hand and left hand outstretched; square base.
Credit Line: Bequest of Charles Allen Munn
Object Number: 1924.63
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Gallery Label:

Staffordshire potters began producing small figures of Benjamin Franklin during his time in England in the 1760s and 1770s. This version, dating shortly after Franklin's death in 1790, shows him wearing a medal around his neck, likely the Copley Award presented to him by the Royal Society of London in 1753 for his experiments on lightning and electricity. It has been suggested that this ceramic portrait depicts Franklin grasping a kite string in his right hand while gazing upwards towards the kite.

Provenance:

The Collection of Charles Allen Munn