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The Jefferson Cup
In 1806 Thomas Jefferson was bequeathed two silver cups by his friend and teacher George Wythe. Several years later Jefferson sent the Wythe cups and two others to John Letelier, a Richmond silversmith. He directed that they be melted down and made into eight smaller cups, weighing about 5 ounces each and in the form of a small cup sent as a model. They were to be gilded inside, and four were to be marked, “G. W. to T. J.” and four marked “T. J.”
The completed cups were received at Monticello in 1810 and were used there until Jefferson’s death in 1826. Four of the original eight Jefferson cups, which descended through Jefferson’s grandchildren, are presently in the Monticello collection.
This cup is a reproduction of the original cups now at Monticello and has been approved by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.