Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg in April, Day 5

Our fifth day was a long and busy one that began with an attempt to squeeze into a garden tour at 9 AM.  When it was clear that the tour didn't have room for us, we consoled ourselves with a tour of the Thomas Everard House.

Although simply furnished, I thought this upstairs bedroom looked very comfortable and relaxing.  I like the way the natural light from the dormer window facing west provides the room with a soft glow.

I've been impressed with the woodwork on this staircase each time I've toured this house, but I don't think I had ever noticed the disparity in the balusters before.  Nonetheless, I still like this staircase.

I've shown a picture of Everard's office in a previous post, but this shot shows the other side of the room including a cool desk, beautiful drop-leaf table in the middle of the room, and allegedly a microscope inside the pyramid-shaped box by the window.

We had to go outside the house to see this, but someone (perhaps H.B. Smith?) scratched this ship in the glass of one the parlor window panes in 1873.  Actually, this is reproduction of the 1873 work, as the original was destroyed several years ago when a painter's ladder slipped and crashed through the window.  Remember that when you think you've done something unforgivable.

Three lovely ladies on a bench in a Palace courtyard.

The tranquil canal to the west of the Palace: one of our favorite spots to find solitude.

Things were not so tranquil in the Palace kitchen, but only because there's always food to prepare.

Although the tulips were fading by the end of our trip, the gardens were still beautiful with a variety of other flowers.

At lunch time our group split up again and I was fortunate enough to be joined by these three pleasant young ladies at Nawab Indian Cuisine for their hard-to-beat buffet.

This attractive little gate caught my eye along Duke of Gloucester Street.  I like the symmetry and the way the peaked shape mimics the peaked roof of the shed behind it.  So many fun architectural features, so little time.

We were honored to find Mark Hutter in the Millinery/Tailor Shop today, and as always, he educated us on several topics.  When asked about his current projects, he produced the bolt of purple fabric laying in front of him in the image above and proceeded to tell us about the 1740s suit they are planning to make from the fabric.  One of the few extant garments known to have been worn in Williamsburg in the 18th century was a man's suit crafted in three pieces (coat, waistcoat, and breeches) from a silk very similar to the bolt pictured.  Acting on behalf of Colonial Williamsburg, Mr. Hutter commissioned a European fabric mill to match the 18th century fabric.  The match is not perfect, as some fine details were omitted due to budget constraints, but I'm told most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference (since I haven't seen the original garments, I can't comment on this claim).

The original suit was worn by the owner and was later updated to 1770s fashion for use by the son.  Naturally, Mr. Hutter only has access to the modified garments, but can tell from their construction what the 1740s garment probably looked like.  His intention is to create two coats, both in the 1740s style, and then modify one of them to reflect the current state of the garment in the 1770s style.  In the image above Mr. Hutter was describing characteristics of the fabric pattern that made this fabric an interesting combination of two styles, and he had just finished describing the construction differences between 1740s and 1770s men's coats.  We were all very impressed.

Later, at the Cabinetmaker Shop, Elizabeth joined a long line of keyboard players that have practiced their form on this reproduction harpsichord.

This obligatory image shows a quaint garden we've enjoyed seeing here in different seasons.

Finally, after dinner at Aroma's (another favorite here), we made our way to the Palace for a candlelight concert featuring violins, viola, viola da gamba, flute, and harpsichord.  As always, the candlelit atmosphere suited the classical music well as the Governor's Musick ensemble played works composed by Carl Friedrich Abel, Joseph Haydn, Johann Christian Bach, and Leopold Mozart (Wolfgang's dad).  We always enjoy these concerts so much I have to wonder: would we attend frequently if we lived in Williamsburg?  There's only one way to find out!  It's good to be on vacation!

On day two I mentioned that we watched the filming of a live webcast on the streets of CW, and it appears that the webcast is now archived online, so we can all watch it at our leisure.  Go to http://connect.history.org/archived-webcasts and click on the link for "American Ideas: The Gale from the North."


  1. That little fenced in yard/garden is pretty close to my ideal yard/garden. Hmm... wonder what all would be involved in doing something similar with my own humble little plot...

    You have set me to thinking:)

  2. I agree Diane. It's the execution of the plan that takes a little effort!