Description / Expertise
JEAN-BAPTISTE NINI (1717-1786)
Country of Origin
11.43 cm in diameter)
In excellent condition.
Franklin is shown facing left wearing a fur hat and simple contemporary clothing.
The coat of arms beside the signature is of Nini’s invention. It displays a bolt of lightning extending from a cloud to a hand armed with an iron bar to represent Franklin ’s invention of the lightning rod.
Between 1777 and 1779 Nini executed several different portraits of Franklin which became the most popular images of the great man who achieved phenomenal success as America ’s ambassador to France . Although the medallions were cast from molds Nini made from his models carved in wax, he added the final details to each medallion when the clay was still soft before firing, adding texture, fine definition and animation to each portrait.
Signed and dated: NINI F 1777 / and on field below 1777 . Inscribed: B. FRANKLIN AMERICAIN