Small seed pearls imported from China and India and strung on horsehair or silk into earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and hair ornaments achieved great popularity in federal America. Their smooth white texture and color melded with the neoclassical aesthetic that harkened back to ancient Greece and Rome. During the presidency, Martha Washington purchased readily available seed pearl jewelry that was imported or made by Philadelphia and New York jewelers. She may have worn this simple strand of pearls alone or perhaps paired it with a set of intricately worked pearl earrings. More

Date

c. 1789-1797


Geography


Material/Technique

Pearls, silk


Dimensions

Overall: 22 5/8 in. x 5/8 in. x 1/16 in. (57.48 cm x 1.6 cm x 0.15 cm)


Credit

Gift of Mrs. Lyttleton B. P. Gould, Jr., M. Chapin Krech, Dr. Shepard Krech, Alvin W. Krech, Peter Chapin, Charles Chapin, and Mrs. Charles Merrill Chapin III, in memory of Esther Maria Lewis Chapin, 1986


Object Number

W-2958/A-B


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.
Buy Tickets What to See Calendar Shop Restaurant Donate Membership
Estate Hours

Open today from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save