Lot 202: c. 1777 BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Revolutionary War Engraved Portrait

Early American

December 10, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, US

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Description: American Revolution
"Benjamin Franklin" Revolutionary War Engraved Portrait
c. 1777 Revolutionary War Period, Rare Engraved Portrait, "BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Ne a Boston dans la Nouvelle Angleterre, le 17 Janvier 1706," by Pierre Adrien Le Beau, Paris, Choice Crisp Extremely Fine.
This Classic Design Style Engraved Portrait is fully titled: "BENJAMIN FRANKLIN N Boston, dans la nouvelle Angleterre, le 17 Janvier 1706. Painted by Claude Louis Desrais & engraved by Pierre Adrien Le Beau, A Paris chez et Rapilly rus st Jacques la ville de Coutances. A. P. D. R.". It is beautifully printed on heavy laid paper, 7.5" x 10.25". Excellent condition. Wide margins. Some scattered foxing as is typical. Tipped in to mat at top. An exquisitely rare and early engraving of Benjamin Franklin, American leader and inventor. The image is a bust portrait of Benjamin Franklin, set within an oval frame. The present example is very similar to the engraving by Charles-Nicolas Cochin published in 1777. This example however is altered to present Franklin in a more dignified manner due to his Ambassadorship of the United States Continental Congress. In the present likeness, Franklin is now depicted without spectacles, and in a highly fashionable fur-lined satin dressing gown of the day. Gone is the primitive fur-trapper Beaver hat, which has been replaced with the more dignified and stylish cap, lightly trimmed with fur as seen in many images from the period. The impression is wonderfully dark, deeply impressed with the plate outline embossed sharply in the paper, suggesting this may be a Proof Impression. Excellent for display.
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