During George Washington's presidency, the First Family lived in the urban centers of New York and Philadelphia where they encountered the practice of leaving "calling cards" when visiting friends and acquaintances. The number of cards Martha Washington likely needed to fulfill her duties probably necessitated her investment in this engraved copper plate, which could replicate her fabricated signature in large quantities. The plate was later inherited by her granddaughter, Martha Parke Custis Peter, of Tudor Place, who engraved the back to print her own calling cards in the early-nineteenth century. More


c. 1789-1854





Overall: 2 1/8 in. x 3 1/8 in. (5.41 cm x 7.95 cm)


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph G. Newman, 1984


Engraving horizontally centered on the obverse of the plate: "notgnihsaW srM".

Object Number



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