Jacob Eichholtz Commonplace Book: Eichholtz Sketches and Painterly Advice by Joshua Reynolds and Anton Raphael Mengs


Item Info

Item No: frkm103000
Title: Jacob Eichholtz Commonplace Book: Eichholtz Sketches and Painterly Advice by Joshua Reynolds and Anton Raphael Mengs
Scripts/Text: cursive
Language: English
Physical Description: 57 leaves
Material: Ink, graphite pencil, laid paper.
Watermark: Eagle head, tail feather fragments at center, inner margins, gutter
Category: Commonplace book (Tagebuch)
Media Type: Manuscripts
Source: Rare Book Department

Accompanying Materials Laid or Tipped In:

1A. A book leaf with a black & white version of a self-portrait of Jacob Eichholtz, 1776-1842 on the recto. The verso is blank. The portrait is “From a Portrait by Himself, Owned by His Daughter, Mrs. Angelica Kauffman Smith.”

2A. A typewritten note signed by Grover C. Waitz attesting that “ October 3, 1932. I hereby certify that this manuscript book with original drawings was the property of the J. Eicholtz family, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, SIGNED Grover C. Waitz.”

3A-3 B. A two-page, one-sided typewritten review of B Ms 103 detailing contents.
[N.B. Much of the same information appears in a condensed version of Thomas R. Ryan’s “Portraying the Early Republic,” 128-130].

4A. Typed slip of paper inserted at leaf 9 reads: “Possibly Alex. J. Dallas Sully Ex. Cat.” #194.”

4B. Typed slip of paper inserted at leaf 17 reads: “Mem. by T. Sully.”

4C. Typed slip of paper inserted at leaf 20 reads: “Mrs. John Crathorne Montgomery, Sully Ex. Cat. #176.”

4D. Typed slip of paper inserted at leaf 37 reads: “Mrs. John Price Wetherill, Sully Ex. Cat. #157.”

4E. Typed slip of paper inserted at leaf 44[r] reads: “John Vaughn, Sully Ex. Cat. #167.”

4F. Typed slip of paper inserted at leaf 45[v] reads: “Geo. Frederick Cooke as Richard III Sully Cat. #209.”

4G. Typed slip of paper inserted at leaf 46 [r] reads: “Charles Stewart Sully Ex. cat. #155.”

4H. Typed slip of paper inserted at leaf 55 [r] reads: “Mr. Chamberlin Sully Ex. Cat. #121.”


Binding: Quarter leather with exposed cover boards 


Biographical Note:

Jacob Eichholtz (1776–1842) was trained as a coppersmith, and was very successful as both a copper and tinsmith in his native town of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. However, he was determined to be an artist, and as early as 1808 advertised himself in a local newspaper as a portrait artist. In 1809 Eichholtz provided studio space for the up and coming Thomas Sully who was in Lancaster to paint Governor Simon Snyder. Both artists became excellent lifelong friends, and copied each other’s works several times during the course of their careers. Eichholtz was for the most part self-trained with the exception of a brief period of study with Gilbert Stuart. A prolific portrait painter, he is known to have painted over 800 portraits over the course of 35 years.


Scope and Content:

When Jacob Eichholtz arrived in Philadelphia in 1823, he found plenty of work painting portraits of successful members of the middle class. It is around this time that he started making pencil sketches and taking notes on painting in Borneman Ms. 103. Most of the painterly advice recorded in this commonplace book comes from the writings of Sir Joshua Reynolds, as well as Anton Raphael Mengs. Perhaps Eichholz also heeded Sir Joshua Reynolds who said that artists should copy good work of fellow artists at all stages of their careers. Of the fifty-two drawings still extant in the manuscript, many are copies of works by his close friend Thomas Sully. Eichholtz continued sketching in the book for nearly two decades. One of his last drawings (Leaf 55R) is a copy of Thomas Sully’s “Mr. Chamberlin.” who per Biddle and Fielding in their “Life and Works of Thomas Sully 1783-1872” is Captain William Chamberlain of Philadelphia, husband of Cornelia Mitchell of Virginia.


Sewing: Through the fold on two cords 



Eagle, fragments found in the center inner margins, gutters: tail feathers on pp. 68, 86, 88, 98, 100, 106; eagle head on p. 90. The watermark’s location helps to establish that the format of B Ms 103 is 4to.

Provenance: Borneman, Henry Stauffer, 1870-1955
Eichholtz, Jacob, 1776-1842


Beal, Rebecca J. Jacob Eichholtz, 1776-1842. Portrait Painter of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1969.

Biddle, Edward and Mantle Fielding. The Life and Works of Thomas Sully 1783-1872. Charleston, S.C.: Garnier & Co., 1969.

Catalogue of the Memorial Exhibition of Portraits by Thomas Sully. April 9, 1922 [to] May 10, 1922 Philadelphia: Philadelphia Academy of Arts, 1921, 81. Retrieved from Google Books on 26 June 2013:

Ryan, Thomas R., “Portraying the Early Republic,” In The Worlds of Jacob Eichholtz Portrait Painter of the Early Republic, edited by Thomas R. Ryan, Lancaster: Lancaster Historical Society, 2003, 118, 128-130.

_______________, “Defining Jacob Eichholtz,” In The Worlds of Jacob Eichholtz Portrait Painter of the Early Republic, 13.

Rodriguez, Janice Eichholtz. Johan Jacob Eichholtz, 1712-1760: A Pioneer Settler of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and His Descendants. Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1978.

Secondary Place Town/Township: Geographic Coverage State/Province:Pennsylvania
Geographic Coverage City/Town/Township:Lancaster
Geographic Coverage Note:See: Thomas R. Ryan, “Defining Jacob Eichholtz,” 13.
Geographic Coverage Region/County:Lancaster

Creation Place Town/Township: Creation Place Note:See: Thomas R. Ryan, “The Worlds of Jacob Eichholtz Portrait Painter of the Early Republic,” 118.

Creation Year (Single Year or Range Begin): ca. 1842
Image Dimensions Width: 20 cm
ShelfMark: FLP Borneman Ms. 103
Creator Name: Eichholtz, Jacob, 1776-1842 - Author
Mengs, Anton Raphael, 1728-1779 - Author
Reynolds, Joshua, Sir, 1723-1792 - Author
Eichholtz, Jacob, 1776-1842 - Decorator
Eichholtz, Jacob, 1776-1842 - Scrivener

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