Thomas Jefferson Signature Collage

This is an original Thomas Jefferson signature, presented framed with an etched portrait of Jefferson by Jacques Reich. The cut signature reads “Th. Jefferson” and is signed with a quill in black ink. This rare cut Jefferson signature was one of several prominent American statesman autographs collected together and bound in a 1809 volume of the Baltimore Evening Post. 

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was a leading figure in early American history, with a remarkable legacy in politics, law, and academia. He contributed significantly to the development of American democracy as a politician, diplomat, and as the main author of the Declaration of Independence. Throughout his life, Jefferson championed freedom of religion, agricultural innovation, and the importance of education. 

During the Revolutionary War, Jefferson served in the Virginia legislature, was governor of Virginia, and a member of the Continental Congress.  Among the Committee of Five charged by the Second Continental Congress with authoring the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was the document's primary author. Jefferson served as United States Minister to France from 1785 to 1789. President Washington then appointed Jefferson as the nation's first secretary of state, where he served from 1790 to 1793. 

In the early 1790s, Jefferson and James Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party. Jefferson thought the national government should have a limited role in citizens’ lives. Jefferson lost the 1796 presidential election to Adams, which according to electoral procedure at the time made him Adams' vice president. Jefferson challenged Adams again four years later, in 1800, and won the presidency. During his two terms as president, the U.S. purchased the Louisiana Territory, which doubled the country’s size, he reduced the nation’s debt, established the nation’s first national military university at West Point, declared war on Barbary pirates, and implemented the Embargo Act. After leaving office, he retired to his Virginia plantation, Monticello, and helped found the University of Virginia.

The original signature is paired with a handsome etched portrait of Jefferson by 20th century artist Jacques Reich. A head and shoulders portrait, Reich based his etched rendition off an 1805 oil-on-canvas painting by Gilbert Stuart. The etching was published by G.P. Putnum’s Sons in New York in 1904.  

Jacques Reich was Hungarian-born portrait etcher, active mainly in the United States. After studying at the National Academy of Design in New York and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Reich established a studio in New York City in 1885. Working on private commissions and portrait designs for Appelton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography and Scribner’s Cylodaedia of Painters and Paintings, Reich honed his portraiture technique and skill. In the early 1890s, Reich began working on copper plates, etching a series of 14 portraits of American and English artists, writers, and poets.

Reich completed his series of etched portraits titled “Famous Americans”, which number 25 subjects, and include Hamilton, Franklin, Carnegie, Curtis, Roosevelt, Washington, Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson, as displayed here.


Very good condition overall. Signature in black ink, on cut toned paper. Ink has faded from black to dark brown, but is still legible and strong. Stain at end of the signature, not affecting the signature’s legibility. Cut signature has been archivally lifted from a larger page of pasted cut signatures.  

The Jacques Reich etching is in excellent condition. The paper is healthy and the impression is strong. 

The cut signature and etching are framed together in a custom, archival frame, with acid-free black linen mat, gold spandrels, a descriptive gold-leaf plaque, UV Conservation Clear glass, and a hand-built black and gold frame.

Framed Dimensions: 28 3/4" H x 22" W x 1 7/8" D

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