The figure is related to a statuette by Ralph Wood the Elder (1715-1772), believed to have been created when Franklin was first in London. This version, however, was made later in the century, probably as a memorial following Franklin's death in 1790. Staffordshire potters produced figures of Benjamin Franklin during his time in England in the 1760s and 1770s. This version, dating shortly after Franklin's death in 1790, shows him wearing a medal around his neck, possibly representing the Copley Award presented to him by the Royal Society of London in 1753 for his experiments on lightning and electricity. It has been suggested that this ceramic portrait depicts Franklin grasping a kite string in his right hand while gazing upwards towards the kite. Considering that he holds a book this may well be an oratorial pose. He stands on a waisted square plinth with raised oval paterae; the words "Dr." and "Frankling" [odd] flank the paterae.
Date: Circa 1800
Measurement: Height: 7.75"
Material: Earthenware, pearlware polychrome
Condition: Displays pristine, two trivial chips to base restored, scattered retouch to enamels
Literature: See Arman, Anglo American Ceramics, p. 114, J. 14. This jug published therein; described as Herculaneum, rare. See page 182, for SUCCESS TO TRADE transfer, probably Shelton group.