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Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio   |   The August 2018 ANA Auction   |   22 August 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Session 2, Lot 34

Estimate: 500 USD   |   Starting price: 1 USD Price realized: 900 USD
Benjamin Franklin

1777 Benjamin Franklin Medallion. Mottled Beige Terracotta. 119 mm. By Nini. Greenslet-5. Rarity-6. Extremely Fine.
The uniface design shows a bust of Franklin left in a fur cap, fashionable at the time, with the legend B. FRANKLIN / AMERICAIN around the border. Nini, a Paris-based Italian sculptor, signed the piece with the date, his name and personal crest on the truncation. A second date 1777 is also evident in the field beneath the truncation. A high relief design of concentric circles forms the border. The reverse is blank, but with a fleur-de-lis impressed at about 10:30, 25 mm in from the edge. Also of note is some light pencil graffiti at the top of the reverse that appears to be the Roman numeral LXI with additional lettering, perhaps a name, below.

Originally intended as a wall hanging, these pieces were produced with a hole through the upper rim to the back, with a knotted twine loop attached. The twine on this example is no longer present, but is easily replaced. There is an apparent repair on the reverse rim at about 8:30. It appears additional clay was added (perhaps at the time of manufacture) to fill in a flake that had been lost.

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