Benjamin Franklin postmaster's commission valued at $50,000

A 1764 postmaster's commission signed by Benjamin Franklin and John Foxcroft as deputy postmaster generals of America is to auction at Robert A Siegel.

The lot is valued at $40,000-50,000 ahead of the Benjamin Franklin Bailar Collection: A Study of America's First Postmaster General sale on June 25.

Ben Franklin post
Franklin served as America's deputy postmaster general in the years before the revolution

Bailar was elected postmaster general from 1975-1978 and, somewhat confusingly, is named after his illustrious predecessor.

Franklin was elected to the role of deputy postmaster in 1753 and held the position until 1774. The following year the revolutionary war kicked off in earnest and the Second Continental Congress appointed him Postmaster General.

The commission shows numerous references to the crown and appoints Abraham Hunt to the position of postmaster.

A cover from George Washington to Benjamin Franklin that bears Washington's autograph free frank is likely to prove another highlight, with an estimate of $20,000-30,000.

Siegel comments: "Examples of correspondence between these two important historical figures are rare outside of institutional archives. This was sent during a time when Washington was a private citizen (he was not elected president until 1787).

"Technically he did not hold free franking privileges, but this was sent without charge."

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