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Historic "Declaration of Independence" engraving by publisher John Binns — Limited edition archival print
The History List

Historic "Declaration of Independence" engraving by publisher John Binns — Limited edition archival print

Regular price

This is an advance order. The deadline to order is November 29. We expect that these will be shipped beginning the week of December 7.

If you'd like one of these beautiful fine art quality 22" x 30" prints, ideal for framing, you must place your order by December 1. We will print exactly what is ordered. These will not be inventoried. We expect to send these out the week of December 7. They should get to destinations in the United States by Christmas, but we cannot guarantee this.

We also have this as a much smaller commercial print, which is very affordable and is available now.


"I've admired this since I first saw it, and have been looking for a couple of years for some way we could offer a really high quality version that really shows the beauty of the engraving.

We're reproducing it at 22" x 30", very close to its original size, and we're doing it as a fine art print for people who want to frame this and hand it down from generation to generation.

Admittedly, it's not an original print from the engraved plate, but those are expensive. In fact, an original, not in great shape, sold on August 28, 2020 for $4,000 (before the buyer's premium).

For our print, we've invested in substantial reconstruction of some larger missing pieces around the edge and done some other small corrections, but have left most of the other signs of wear. The result, framed, should be something that looks close to an original.

I'm eager to get this printed and framed, and I hope you are, too. Historically these were framed without mats. If you choose to frame it without a mat, you can find 22" x 30" assembled frames online for less than $100.  Larger frames and mats are available online, too.  Either way, this is probably the most affordable option (versus custom framing at a craft store or at an independent frame store). However, if you want conservation framing, you will want to go to an independent frame shop and specify that that’s what you want.

— Lee Wright  |  Founder  |  The History List  |  History Camp  |  The Pursuit of History

Size: 22" x 30" That includes a 1/4" that we added around the perimeter for a mat or frame. (Otherwise the mat or frame would have cut off the top of the engraving.) 

The original was 26” x 36”.

About the paper weight and printing process: Printed on fine art grade 100% cotton rag, acid-free archival paper with archival inks.


Historical background

"A virtual war ensued between rival printers John Binns and Benjamin Owen Tyler to be the first to publish and garner Jefferson's endorsement. Binns was the publisher of the Republican Philadelphia newspaper The Democratic Press. In June 1816, he began taking subscriptions for his print of the Declaration, which was to be surrounded by portraits of John Hancock, George Washington, and Jefferson, and the seals of all thirteen states, but he failed to produce the work until 1819.

"In the meantime Tyler took advantage of Binns's publicity and produced a less expensive and unornamented print in April 1818, complete with facsimile signatures and a dedication to Jefferson. Tyler was a self-taught calligrapher and penmanship instructor. When he asked Jefferson for permission to dedicate the engraving to him, Jefferson consented but reminded Tyler that he was "but a fellow-laborer" with the other signers:

for the few of us remaining can vouch, I am sure, on behalf of those who have gone before us, that notwithstanding the lowering aspect of the day, no hand trembled on affixing it's signature to that paper.

"Tyler sent Jefferson a copy of his work on parchment, and sometime after May 1818, paid a visit to Monticello, where he spent the day teaching penmanship to Jefferson's family.

"Binns's response to Tyler's success was to dedicate his work to the people of the United States. He sent a proof of the print to Jefferson in 1819 soliciting comments. [The text of his letter to Jefferson.] "[T]he dedication to the people is peculiarly appropriate," Jefferson wrote, "for it is their work, and particularly entitled to my approbation with whom it has ever been a principle to consider individuals as nothing in the scale of the nation." Jefferson added that the print's "great value will be in it's exactness as a fac-simile to the original paper," a comment that foreshadowed Binns's next struggle.

"Binns had hoped to sell 200 copies of his print to the government but was disappointed in 1820 by then secretary of state John Quincy Adams's commission of an exact facsimile of the original by William J. Stone. "

Source: Monticello.

Learn more about the historical background of this print, including information from the National Park Service, the Library of Congress, and leading auction houses here. 

 

See size chart

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Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
XS 17 27 9
Small 19 28 9.25
Medium 20.5 29 9.5
Large 22 30 9.75
XL 23.5 31 10
2XL 25 32 10.25
3XL 28 33 10.5
4XL 30 34 10.75

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Short-sleeves

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 38 28 9.25
Medium 41 29 9.5
Large 44 30 9.75
XL 47 31 10
2XL 50 32 10.25
3XL 56 33 10.5

 Long-sleeves

Size Chest Body Length
Small 38 28
Medium 41 29
Large 44 30
XL 48 31
2XL 52 32

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 20 26.5 24.38
Medium 22 27.5 24.63
Large 24 28.5 24.25
XL 26 29.5 24
2XL 28 30 23.75
3XL 30 30.5 23.5

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 15.75 26.5 6.38
Medium 16.75 27 6.63
Large 17.75 27.5 6.88
XL 19.25 28 7.13
2XL 20.75 28.5 7.38

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Body Width Body Length
XS 15.6 26.5
Small 16.1 26.75
Medium 17.25 27.25
Large 18.38 27.88
XL 19.88 28.5
2XL 21.38 29.13

 

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 19 28 9.25
Medium 20.5 29 9.5
Large 22 30 9.75
XL 24 31 10
2XL 26 32 10.25
3XL 28 33 10.5

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
XS 14 19 6.5
Small 15.5 20.5 6.75
Medium 17 22 7
Large 18.5 23.5 7.25
XL 20 25 7.5

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 18 28 8.13
Medium 20 29 8.38
Large 22 30 8.63
XL 24 31 8.88
2XL 26 33 9.63
3XL 28 34 10.13
4XL 30 35 10.63
5XL 32 36 11.13
6XL 34 37 9.75

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Body Width Body Length
XS 12.5 23.5
Small 13.5 24
Medium 15.5 25
Large 17.5 26
XL 19.5 27
2XL 21.5 28

 

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
Small 16.5 26.5 24.625
Medium 17.5 27 25
Large 18.5 27.5 25.375
XL 20 28 25.75
2XL 21.5 28.5 26.5

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.

Size Chest Body Length Sleeve Length
XS 11.5 19 3.75
Small 12.5 20 4
Medium 13.5 21 4.25
Large 15 23 4.5
XL 16.5 25 4.75

Measurement Notes:
Sleeve length measured from shoulder edge.

Care Instructions:
Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low.