Rare Offering from Benjamin Franklin to Highlight Christie’s Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Sale


NEW YORK, NY.- On June 23, Christie’s will offer an extremely rare, finely bound collection of Benjamin Franklin’s privately printed “bagatelles”– light essays, witty dialogues and satirical sketches — printed by Franklin himself at his residence in Passy, a Paris suburb (estimate: $250,000-350,000). At the time (1778-1784), Franklin was serving as U.S. Commissioner to France, in hopes of winning France’s aid and assistance in the American Revolution. The bagatelles, most of which are in French, were printed in very few copies and intended for the amusement of Franklin’s intimate friends. This unique volume will be featured in Christie’s Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts sale. Franklin had learned the printing trade as a young man in his brother’s print-shop and he became the foremost printer in colonial Philadelphia. Appointed by Congress as Commissioner to France, he took up residence in th