Four-sided music stand, 1750 -1770
Atwater Kent Museum of...
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Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia

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"Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World," Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary traveling exhibition, 2005-2008.
"An Image of Benjamin Franklin," University of Pennsylvania Hospital Antiques Show, 1963.
Related Publications

."An Image of Benjamin Franklin," Catalogue of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital Antiques Show, 1963. The catalogue does not contain detailed descriptions of specific artifacts; but the stand is cited in a list, and is visible in a photograph taken of the loan exhibit space.

Hershey, Constance V., "Collector's Choice," Twenty-fifth Anniversary Loan Exhibit of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital Antiques Show, (Philadelphia, 1986).

Lindsey, Jack L., Worldly Goods: The Arts of Early Pennsylvania, 1680-1758 (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1999) P. 13, fig. 24.

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)

Gift to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania by Isaac R. Williams. Letter from Williams to Gen'l Hartman Bache, September 4, 1867, cites longtime owner Mrs. Ann Ellis, with note that table was a gift to her from her neighbor "the widow of John intelligent, ingenious and liberal minded Englishman [who]...had a manufactory for fancy chairs..." Letter in the records of HSP from R.M(?) Bache to (his cousin) William Duane, Esq., September 14, 1873, disputes Franklin ownership of the table: "Mr Williams gave the stand to father, and when it became my duty to dispose of the family effects I offered it to members of the immediate family, none of whom wanted it." He continues that he did not offer it to HSP or sell it for fear of giving it "the stamp of authenticity," but "The matter is just where I did not want it and tried not to have it. I appear to have stamped the article with authenticity in the most emphatic way possible..." The stand does not appear to be listed in an identifiable form in Franklin's death date inventory, however that document is brief and unspecific. It is perhaps safest at this stage of research to say that the stand appears possibly the result of re-use of a tilt-top tripod table whose top had been damaged or broken. It is tempting to credit Franklin for that sort of inventive re-use; however, it is not yet proved conclusively. Terms of Use Credits