Object Record

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Catalog Number 01.C.45a
Object Name Medallion
Title Commemorative Medal for Benjamin Franklin Bicentennial
Artist Saint-Gaudens, Louis and Augustus
Artist 2 Saint-Gaudens, Louis
Date ca. 1906
Description Obverse: BENJAMIN - FRANKLIN above bust of Franklin facing left with palm branches on either side; to right, 1706 / 1790. In exergue, (triangle) PRINTER (triangle) PHILOSOPHER (triangle) / (triangle) SCIENTIST (triangle) STATESMAN (triangle) / *DIPLOMATIST*.
Reverse: HISTORY above a draped female figure seated at left, holding against her knee a shield bordered by olive wreath; she is inscribing on the shield ERIPUIT / COELO / FULMEN / SCEPTRUM / QUE TYR / ANNIS; a tripod alter is burning beside her, a branch of laurel on the steps leading to her throne, and fluted columns behind her; three figures, representing Science, Philosophy and Literature, stand before her; over the figures in three lines LITERATURE / SCIENCE PHILO- / -SOPHY; above in two lines STRUCK BY ACT OF THE CONGRESS / OF THE UNITED STATES; in exergue, TO COMMEMORATE THE TWO HUNDREDTH / ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF / BENJAMIN FRANKLIN / M C M V I.
TIFFANY CO stamped on edge.
Label Louis Saint-Gaudens designed this medal to mark the 200th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s birth. Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Louis’s well-known older brother, may have played a significant role in the development of this composition, since he taught the younger sculptor the technical aspects of cameo-cutting. 151 copies of this design were originally cast. Secretary of State Elihu Root presented the first copy, made of solid gold, to France in 1904. Of the 150 copies later struck in bronze, fifty were given to the American Philosophical Society for its use. The APS also received permission to strike additional medals if the need arose.
Material Bronze
Dimensions D-0.25 Dia-3 inches
Credit line American Philosophical Society
Search Terms 20th century
twentieth century
Founding Father
commemorative