Small seed pearls imported from China and India to be strung on horsehair or silk into earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and hair ornaments achieved great popularity in federal America. During the presidency, Martha Washington purchased readily available seed pearl jewelry that was imported or made by Philadelphia and New York jewelers. The interest in seed pearls lasted throughout the nineteenth century, and, like their grandmother, Mrs. Washington's granddaughters also purchased seed pearl jewelry in the fashion of their day. This necklace is believed to have been owned by Eliza Parke Custis Law (1776-1832). More


c. 1830



Pearls, mother of pearl, silver, leather


Overall: 10 1/2 in. x 7 1/4 in. x 9/16 in. (26.67 cm x 18.42 cm x 1.42 cm)


Gift of Virginia Hill Alexander, 1966

Object Number



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