Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers are proud to announce the publication of a new landmark work by Richard Margolis – Benjamin Franklin in Terra Cotta: Portrait Medallions by Jean-Baptiste Nini at the Chateau of Chaumont.
Decades in the making, this long-awaited work is finally available. Deemed “brilliant” by John W. Adams, the book has been very favorably received by experts in the field.
“Benjamin Franklin in Terra Cotta … is an incredibly thorough piece of scholarship, including a detailed catalogue of all of the known varieties of these generally 4-inch to 7-inch diameter plaques that are often collected alongside early American medals … Benjamin Franklin in Terra Cotta fills an important void in the numismatic literature surrounding Nini’s Franklin plaques and related items.”
— John Sallay, President, Medal Collectors of America
“There is much to commend in this book by Richard Margolis, focusing on Nini’s 1777-1779 terra cotta portraits of Benjamin Franklin and the moulds used to create them. The result of over 40 years of painstaking research by the author, the volume is essentially a catalogue raisonné of the artist’s most popular series of bas-relief portraits. The author states in his foreword that ‘some nuggets of relevant information may have eluded’ him, but there can’t be many!”
— Anne Bentley, Curator of Art, Massachusetts Historical Society
“Benjamin Franklin in Terra Cotta advances the iconographic scholarship on the portrait medallions and moulds created by Jean-Baptiste Nini, Jean Martin Renaud, and Claude Michel (Clodion). Scholars, art historians, curators and collectors will greatly benefit by acquiring Mr. Margolis’s thorough and amply illustrated volume. Kudos to Kolbe & Fanning for producing a beautifully printed reference work that Franklin would certainly have found useful.”
— Roy E. Goodman, Emeritus Curator of Printed Materials, American Philosophical Society Library & Past President, The Friends of Benjamin Franklin
Far surpassing a mere listing of varieties, Margolis’s text extensively discusses the ways in which originals can be distinguished from aftercasts and educates the reader regarding the artistic, technical and iconographic context within which these pieces were created. Extensive footnotes provide the reader with avenues to further information without clogging the primary text with minutiae. Intended to be useful to both the novice as well as the expert, the author is careful to show his thought processes, making explicit his methodology and citing his sources throughout. The handsome, large-format volume is finely illustrated throughout in full color and features a signature-sewn binding in high-quality cloth and an enticing pictorial dust jacket.