History In Ink®  Historical Autographs




Benjamin N. Cardozo

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Benjamin Nathan Cardozo, 1870-1938.  Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court, 1932-1938.  Formal portrait signed Benjamin N. Cardozo.

Signed photographs of Cardozo are extremely difficult to find.  His autograph material is scarce enough in general, but we have found only a handful of signed photographs that have sold at auction in nearly 40 years.  Furthermore, Cardozo is more often found in group photographs of the Supreme Court than in individual portraits such as this one.

This is a 6" x 8¾" lithograph of Cardozo, the second Jewish member of the Supreme Court, from a portrait by Pirie MacDonald of New York, whose stamp appears at the lower right.  It was published with a black facsimile signature of Cardozo beneath the image.  Cardozo has signed in brown ink beneath the facsimile signature. 

MacDonald photographed only men.  During his prolific career, he took portraits of many of the leading men of the early- to mid-20th Century.  At his direction, all of his photographic negatives were destroyed when he died.

Cardozo has signed this portrait with a 3½" signature.  The piece is in the vintage framing in which we received it.  It is matted in white and simply framed in a black wood frame to an overall size of 9½" x 12¼".  The framing does not appear to be archival.  We have not examined the photograph out of the frame, but it appears to be slightly toned from the framing, and the signature has faded somewhat, although it is still easily readable. 

Overall this photograph is in fine condition.  It is a desirable piece for any Supreme Court collection.



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