Howard A. Daniel III writes:
One of my wife's American heroes is Ben Franklin. She collects books, prints, medals, etc. with him on or in them. I was looking through a recently closed Baldwin's Auction in London and I saw a foreign medal with Franklin on it that I had never seen before. I know there are many collectors like my wife who might want to know about this medal.
Here's an excerpt from the Baldwin's Sale 74 catalog. Can anyone help?
United States of America. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), and the Parisian Masonic Lodge "Les Noef Soers", Copper Medalet, 1783, by Jean François Bernier, bust left, rev the nine Muses strive to build a temple, DE LEURS TRAVAUX - NAITRALEUR GLOIRE , plain edge, 30.5mm (Betts 618; Fuld FR.M.MA.2; Ford 14, 344 ($9000); BDM I, 175). Surface lightly rubbed, very fine and an exceptional rarity .
The Lodge, of the Grand Orient de France, was established in 1776 and became a considerable influence in the support of the American Revolution in France. Benjamin Franklin was Venerable Master in 1779, then was re-elected for the years 1780-1783. Other distinguished members included John Paul Jones, Voltaire, Jean-Antoine Houdon and, it is believed, Danton. In antiquity, the nine Muses, the daughters of Mnemosyne, were patrons of the arts and sciences. Ford had two specimens in silver and a single bronze specimen which "Mr Ford thought might be unique". £1200-1500
Wayne Homren, Editor
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