Following Martha Washington's death, her descendants frequently refashioned jewelry so that successive generations might wear a few of the stones, beads, or pearls that graced her ears or encircled her neck. In the mid-nineteenth century, Katherine Williams Upshur, a great-great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, remade her inherited seed pearl necklace into a set of four cross pendants that could be shared equally among her four children. As a deeply religious woman, Mrs. Washington would undoubtedly have approved of the selected form, and it may have been chosen with her sentiments in mind.



c. 1852-1864



Pearl, mother of pearl


Overall: 1 5/8 in. x 1 in. (4.14 cm x 2.54 cm)


Bequest of John Parke Custis Upshur, 1952

Object Number



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