Friday, April 21, 2017

Tudor Place

While I was in D.C. my friend Donna arranged for us to visit an old historic home in Georgetown called Tudor Place. The house was built by a granddaughter of Martha Washington and a son of Robert Peter who was a prominent Scottish-born merchant and landowner and Georgetown’s first mayor. The house was designed by Dr. William Thornton, architect of the first U.S. Capitol and a family friend. It was completed in 1816 but additions were added later on. What is so special about this house is that it stayed in the Peters' family for six generations for a 178 years. Many of the pieces housed in the museum even belonged to George and Martha Washington from their time in Mount Vernon.

We started off with a short tour of the house. We had the place to ourselves as the house is closed on Mondays.

There was a box with what looks like bone needles for lace-making.

Even some old goldwork pieces.

The gardens in the back are beautiful. The house is available for rent to hold weddings and special events. No wines allowed though! Can you imagine spilling red wine on the carpet.

Donna didn't just arrange a tour of the house, but also a special look at some of the pieces in their textile collection. This is Grant. He takes care of the collection at Tudor Place and was kind enough to present different pieces to us and tell us their origins.

This is a sampler stitched my Columbia Washington Peters who was Martha Washington's great granddaughter.

A cushion seat needlepoint (out of a set) stitched by Martha Washington.

A silk stocking that belonged to America Peter. We think from the quality of the pulled stitches it is most likely French.

Ever wonder what your goldwork will look like in a hundred years? This piece came from a military uniform. They have another piece framed on display in the house (I had taken a picture of it). It was great to be able to get a much closer look at it. It looks like the leaves were stitched in something similar to the gilt rough purl I used in Pearl Butterfly for the s'ing. On top of that, there are spangles stitched with what could have been gold braid that has a core. Some of it is tarnished while in other places it looks like the braid wore off.

There were other pieces.

My favorite was this waist coat with embroidered olives. If I remember correctly, whoever this belonged to wore it for the L├ęgion d'honneur award ceremony (I will have to look up the name) so the theme was very apropos. It's stitched on wool with padded satin stitch. Even the buttons were stitched. The colors were gorgeous and it was fun to examine it in person to see how it was put together. Too bad the moths got to it in some places.

They have many more pieces, but these are the only ones we got to see. Maybe next time I visit we can try and get a peek at the rest of the collection.


  1. This is fab! Thanks for sharing, Dima.

  2. The old goldwork piece is very interesting. I am surprised that it would tarnish and turn black, I am wondering if it could have been done in silver instead of gold? The pictures are awesome and I am amazed at how well the pieces have been preserved.

  3. The outside of the house is not what I'd call Tudor but the inside makes up for it! What a wonderful collection of needlework and clothing. I do hope your goldwork doesn't tarnish like that.