The smooth surfaces of unglazed biscuit porcelain mimic the purity of classical sculpture and made it a fashionable choice for table ornaments in the second half of the eighteenth century. When set atop glittering, mirrored plateaux amid flowers and candelabra, such figures created a fantastic, mythical tableau. George Washington may have purchased this figure during the last weeks of his presidency for use in the "New Room" at Mount Vernon. Representing the noble simplicity of the pastoral life, this group of musicians celebrates the life Washington aspired to as a gentleman farmer.


Biscuit porcelain group composed of a central oak tree surrounded by four figures on rocky outcroppings, all on a circular base; each of the figures is supported by short stumps on their backs; the first figure, a boy in a cocked hat with bows on his shoes and at his knees, plays a drum; to the right of his feet are a pair of drums and to his left is an open music book; the second figure, a girl with a kerchief around her head, cranks a hurdy-gurdy; the third figure has been broken off, leaving only a pair of shoes standing on the rocks; the forth figure, a young girl with her left hand raised and her right hand at her waist, appears to be playing an instrument; the instrument has been lost; to the right of her feet is a mandolin.


c. 1789-1797



Biscuit porcelain


Overall: 14 1/2 in. x 6 3/4 in. x 6 3/4 in. (36.83 cm x 17.15 cm x 17.15 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1984

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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 Do Calendar Shop Restaurant Support Membership
Estate Hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save