P.O. Box 586 Downingtown, PA 19335 United States 212.308.2022
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$ 2,900

Staffordshire Figure of Franklin named Washington

Documentation Signed
Origin England
Period 19th Century
Materials pottery
H. 15.75 in; Diam. 7 in;
H. 40.01 cm; Diam. 17.78 cm;
Condition Good.
Description Large Staffordshire Figure of Benjamin Franklin but named Washington for George Washington,
Mid-19th Century
(Ref: NY9353-cpr)

The large Staffordshire pottery figure depicts an elegant standing figure with the name "Washington" written in gold enamel around the base.  This refers to George Washington, the first President of the United States except the figure is actually of Benjamin Franklin.

The figure on a circular white base depicts the figure in a deep blue long jacket on a waistcoat decorated with flowers in iron-red and green enamel his left hand holding a tricornered hat and his right a book.

According to the entry for a similar figure at the American Philosophical Society, this ceramic figurine is an adaptation of François Marie Suzanne's 1793 terracotta statuette of Benjamin Franklin. Suzanne’s statuette was frequently reproduced with variations of costume and poses.

In Staffordshire, a ceramics manufacturing center in northwest England, the statuette was misidentified as "George Washington," and the mistake was repeated. Staffordshire experts say that figurines labeled Washington resembling the first U.S. president are extremely rare. Nearly all of these so-called "Washington" statuettes actually depict Franklin.


Dimensions: Height: 15 3/4 inches x 7 inch diameter

Condition good.  To the edge of the base below the "N" in Washington are two glazed chips occurring in the making of the figure.

Reference: See the blog- from Mel Buchanan, Assistant Curator of 20th-century Design at the Milwaukee Art Museum, where she discusses a very similarly marked figure in their collection (English (Staffordshire), Figure of Benjamin Franklin, 1780-1800. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd A. Segel, M1984.111).
Styles / Movements Americana, Staffordshire, Traditional
Dealer Reference Number NY9353-cp
Incollect Reference Number 421496
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