Benjamin Franklin Medal

Object Number: 
1947.318
Date: 
1777
Medium: 
Bronze
Dimensions: 
diameter: 1 3/4 in. ( 4.5 cm )
Description: 
Bronze struck medal with obverse showing clothed bust of young Franklin facing three-quarters to the left; surrounding inscription: "B. FRANKLIN OF PHILADELPHIA L.L.D. & F.R.S." Reverse depicts tree struck by lightning from a cloud at left; legend: "NON IRRITA FULMINA CURAT"; date in exergue: "1777."
Gallery Label: 
Reflecting the high regard in which he was held by the English, the Benjamin Franklin "oak tree" medal cites his Doctor of Law degree, awarded by the University of St. Andrews in Scotland in 1759, and his membership in the Royal Society of Sciences, to which he was elected in 1766. The turban-like cap may be an English rendition of the legendary fur cap Franklin sported in France. The medal's reverse depicts a sturdy oak unharmed by a menacing lightning bolt, with the legend NON IRRITA FULMINA CURAT" (He stands impervious to the futile lightning bolt).
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mr. James Hazen Hyde
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group