Portrait of Abiah Folger Franklin, believed to be 1707
Photo courtesy of Melissa...
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Photo courtesy of Melissa Williams Fine Art

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Paris Salon, January, 1910; London, Grafton Galleries, 1912; Long Island, New York, Franklin National Bank, 1956.
The portrait has been believed to be of Abiah Franklin since at least the very early 19th century. A label on its reverse credits the "Barbee Dubourg Collection." The correct name is almost certainly Barbeu Dubourg (also Barbeu-Dubourg). Jacques Barbeu Dubourg (1709-1799) was a friend of Franklin's during his Paris years, and the translator of his "Works" in 1773. The portrait appears to have descended in his family. Its history of ownership, though incomplete, is tantalizing.

Questions that remain to be addressed include "What is the possible print source for the pose and dress of the subject?" and "Who first made the attribution(s) of artist and subject?" Note that the Nantucket Historical Assn. owns a portrait of BF's cousin, Timothy Folger, by J.S. Copley. Their website: www.nha.org.

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