Shoe buckles, 1755-1767
Collection of The New-York...
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Collection of The New-York Historical Society (1942.234a-c)

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"Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World," Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary traveling exhibition, 2005-2008
Related Publications

Henkels, Stan V. & Son, Relics of Benjamin Franklin and Family Papers, Estate of Ellen Duane Davis, Deceased... To Be Sold... June 16th, 1924...."

Talbott, Page, ed., Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World (New Haven and London: Yale University, 2005) (companion book to exhibition of same title)

Franklin's correspondence records two pairs of buckles sent from Europe to Sally:
He wrote to his wife from London on June 10, 1758, "By Capt. Lutwidge I sent my dear Girl a newest fashion'd white Hat and Cloak, and sundry little things which I hope will get safe to hand. I now send her a pair of Buckles, made of French Paste Stones, which are next in Lustre to Diamonds, they cost 3 Guineas, are said to be cheap at the Price." (Franklin Papers, vol. 8, no. 90a.)

Ten years later Franklin wrote in a letter to Richard Bache, who was betrothed to Sally: "My love to Sally. I have sent her by Mr. Coleman, who left us this Day, a new Watch and Buckles."

When the buckles were sold out of the family in 1924, the auction catalogue contained this entry: "Pair silver shoe buckles. Each set with 43 brilliants, in case...These were sent from abroad by Franklin as a wedding present for his daughter Sally. (Reference is made to this present in Franklin's letter of August 13, 1768, to Richard Bache, elsewhere described in this catalogue.) Bache had married Sally October 29, 1767.

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