Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    [Benjamin Franklin] Robert Spring Forgery of a Benjamin Franklin Autograph Letter Signed "B Franklin", one page, 7" x 9.5". Passy, April 22, 1779, to Mr. Bradford. In this forgery, "Franklin" apologizes to Mr. Bradford that "the gravel" (kidney stones) has prevented him from meeting King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. This forged letter (or one exactly like it) was so well-done that it was authenticated in 1865 by William B. Sprague, an early philographer of early American statesmen, who wrote that he had "no doubt of its genuineness."

    Robert Spring forged letters by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and other early American statesmen, and was described by Charles Hamilton as being very successful. Often spending hours practicing with a goose quill, Spring mixed his own special ink and employed such tricks as applying coffee grounds to stain his productions to give an ancient look. So successful was he that one of his Washington forgeries was displayed in Independence Hall for some time. Before his death in 1876, Spring was arrested and subsequently vowed to reform. On laid paper watermarked with fleur-de-lis. Usual folds. One hole effaces the "ir" in "their"; fine condition.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2008
    17th-18th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,533

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 April 25 - 26 Americana & Political The David and Janice Frent Collection of Political & Presidential Americana 8 - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage has gone above and beyond my expectations in handling all of my transactions in a thoroughly professional manner. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone worldwide for the exemplary auction and valuation services they provide.
    Richard H.,
    Corsicana, TX
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 December 9 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 December 9 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,482,512