Benjamin Franklin autograph is surprise $10,500 star at auction

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, pictured top right) is today remembered as one of the United States Founding Fathers and as a polymath (with author, politician, inventor, soldier and diplomat among the many strings on his bow).

Roughly halfway through his life, in 1753, Franklin was appointed to another of his many roles: as Deputy Postmaster General of the Colonies in America.

It is this period of Franklin's life that was represented among the lots at Robert A Siegel's General Foreign Stamps and Covers, US Postal History auction last week (April 28-30).

The cover bears Benjamin Franklin's handwritten postmaster frank

The lot in question was a folded, one-of-a-kind cover addressed in Franklin's own written handwriting to "The Revd. Mr. Clap, President of the College, New Haven."

The Reverend Clapp was president of what is now Yale University, until 1766.

This fine, rare and expertly silked example of Benjamin Franklin's written frank - "Free B. Franklin" - was an understated lot in Siegel's auction, among a number of presidental autographs in the sale.

In the end, it sold comfortably over its $7,500-10,000 pre-sale estimate. Commanding a final price of $10,500, it was a brilliant acquisition and investment for the lucky winning bidder.


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