Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from ——— Bery: Receipt for Brass Stencils, 29 December 1781

From ——— Bery: Receipt for Brass Stencils7

DS: American Philosophical Society

[December 29, 1781]

Monten des caraters fourni par bery a Son eclence le docteure flanklin Savoire

2 caracteres magescule8 16 l.t.
2 dite a..12 l.t.9 12
11 caractere ten romint quitalique1 a 4 l.t 44
2 caracteres de lettre orené2 16
6 boredure3 a 1 l.t. 10 s. 9
4 baton dencre de la chine a 2 l.t. 8
6 brosse4 a 12 s. 3 12
pour la boite 8
le biet de visite5 6
toto6 122 l.t. 12 s.
119 ” 12
Chiffres 8
120 0

Reçu le montant à Passy le 29 Décembre 1781.


Notation: Bery’s Acct for brass Caracters 120 l.t. Pd. 29 Decr 817

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7The stencils listed on this receipt included alphabets that BF had selected from Bery’s specimen sheet (illustrated on the facing page), end and border pieces, and custom-made ornamental items. The stencils, in their original box, are at the APS; see the List of Illustrations.

8BF’s monogram, embossed on the front covers of our volumes.

9We assume that this entry indicates that another set of initials was cut. That stencil has not survived.

1Various character sets including both roman and italic letters. Numerals were included in most sizes.

2The ornamental letters marked on Bery’s specimen as Nos. 3 and 4, illustrated by the words “DE” and “NOTRE DAME.”

3Four border pieces remain in the box. None of these is the border displayed on the specimen, but all are equally fine. It is possible that only four borders were delivered: the price, 9 l.t., was later altered to read “6,” which meant that 3 l.t. had to be deducted from the first total.

4None of the brushes has survived.

5“Billet de visite,” or calling card. “Mr Franklin” is cut in an elegant italic, surrounded by a border of vines and flowers; see the frontispiece to the present volume.

6Everything below this initial total (except Bery’s signature) is in WTF’s hand. We surmise that only four of the six borders were delivered (see the note, above) and cannot identify the additional “chiffres,” or numerals.

7Bery made a second delivery on Jan. 12, for which a receipt survives. One “boite de couleure” cost 9 l.t. He also provided five brushes, a palette, a “plaque de cuivre recui,” and a “maiet,” for an additional 9 l.t. 16 s. APS.

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