In 1766, Martha Washington acquired from London upholsterer Philip Bell the materials needed to create "one dozn. Chair bottoms." Over the next thirty-six years, she carefully cross-stitched a scallop-shell design she herself possibly created. While she may have intended for the canvases to upholster slip seats, they were ultimately fabricated into cushions that were likely placed on Windsor chairs in the Little Parlor at Mount Vernon. This cushion is one of six in Mount Vernon's collection. Its yellow worsted wool casing, multicolor, hand-knotted silk and wool fringe, and woven silk tape remain intact, making it a rare documented example of Martha Washington's needlework and original upholstery at Mount Vernon. More

Date

1765-1802


People


Geography


Material/Technique

Wool, silk, linen


Dimensions

Overall: 3 1/2 in. x 19 in. x 16 1/2 in. (8.89 cm x 48.26 cm x 41.91 cm)


Credit

Gift of Mrs. R. H. Plant McCaw, 1949


Object Number

W-1533/A


Colors


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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