"Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World," Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary traveling exhibition, National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, 2005-2006
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)
The miniature was bequeathed to Franklin's daughter, Sarah Franklin Bache. It was disassembled during her lifetime. In an autobiography written in 1901, Elizabeth Duane Gillespie described the miniature inherited by her grandmother (Sally Bache) as being set with "two rows of diamonds and a crown on the top composed of diamonds." According to Mrs. Gillespie, her grandmother "decided upon removing the outer row and crown and selling them" two years after Franklin's death. The miniature itself was inherited by Deborah Bache Duane, and retained by members of her family until given to the American Philosophical Society in 1959 by Richard Duane (probably Richard Bache Duane III). Several of the diamonds survive, either loose or set into rings owned by family members.
This entry was prepared with the help of Elle Shushan, scholar of and dealer in miniatures, whose guidance is acknowledged with thanks.