In 1784, George Washington wrote to family and friends in search of a marble surround suitable for his "New Room". In response, Samuel Vaughan, a recent émigré, presented this mantelpiece depicting pastoral life that originated from his home in Essex, England. Although Washington was humbled by Vaughan's generosity, he was hesitant to accept the gift, concerned that it was "too elegant & costly I fear for my own room, & republican stile of living." Despite his initial doubts, it was installed in 1786, becoming the centerpiece of Washington's most public room and perhaps inspiring the agricultural motifs decorating the room's ceilings and walls. More





Marble, cement


Overall: 67 3/4 in. x 82 5/8 in. (172.09 cm x 209.87 cm)


Transferred to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association through the generosity of John Augustine Washington III, 1860

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.
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