Portrait medallion of Benjamin Franklin (Wedgwood & Bentley), 1769-1780
Photo courtesy of the...
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Photo courtesy of the Walters Art Museum

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The oval medallion of black basalt contains a low-relief cameo of Franklin in the classical manner: his head shown with hair shorn like that of an antique Roman; his neck and part of his shoulder, with no visible clothing. The word FRANKLIN is impressed below the contour of the shoulder. The medallion is rimless. On the reverse is the impressed mark Wedgwood & Bentley.

Sellers writes that the design was attributed by Harry Buten of the Buten Museum of Wedgwood to William Hackwood, who copied the similar medallion of J.B. Nini. There were so many similar images in circulation that it is difficult to determine which came first.

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