Portrait bust of Benjamin Franklin (Rysbrack), ca. 1760
Photo courtesy of Christie's
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Photo courtesy of Christie's

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Eustace, Katherine, Michael Rysbrack, Sculptor, 1694 - 1770, catalogue of an exhibition at the Bristol City Art Gallery, 1982.` The Franklin bust does not appear in this catalogue because it was unknown at the time. However, this work is essential for the study of Rysbrack; and its author provided invaluable assistance in the preparation of this entry.

When brought to Christie's London in 1986, it had been found in a weathered state. Offered for sale at Christie's on April 24, 1986, it failed to make its reserve. Reasons suggested for that at the time were its absence from the known published iconography of Franklin (i.e., Sellers), and its roughened appearance. Note, though, that this image is of the bust before conservation. Following that, it was conserved and offered again. It is now owned privately.

The account of the work's condition and provenance was aided greatly by information from scholars Kate Eustace and Malcolm Baker, and from Donald Johnston, on the staff of Christie's London.

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