Portrait plaque of Benjamin Franklin (Wedgwood), 1777-1779
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Oval jasperware (dry-bodied ceramic clay) plaque containing a portrait of Benjamin Franklin. This is the "classic" medallion, attributed to William Hackwood, in which Franklin faces left, and is represented in Roman fashion, with cropped hair. The image is applied to the plaque surface. Beneath is impressed the intaglio title "FRANKLIN." The depiction is like that of a classical coin, with only the figure's head and neck shown.

Wedgwood's firm had produced earlier profile medallions of Franklin in contemporary dress, and emphasized his scholarship. Now he was compared to the Roman heroes whose actions were held in such high regard by the 18th-century western world.

An example of this, from Harvard's Fogg Museum, is illustrated in Sellers, Pl. 11, 4.

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