Great Gifts

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

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Give Mom a Gift as Unique and Beautiful as She Is

The Shop at Monticello’s Gifts for Her collection is inspired by Jefferson’s passions for elegant, functional design and nature’s beauty. From classic decor to exclusive garden supplies, a gift from this collection is sure to delight each Mom on your list. Shop the entire collection now >>

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Monticello Seed Sampler Mix Up

This little guy is coming in a weird angle.

During the Heritage Harvest Festival last year I purchased the Monticello Herb Sampler seed pack. This collection of ten herbs included oregano, lavender, basil, mint, dill, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

It was amidst the dreary frozen days of February that I began to sprout my tiny collection in hopes that new life could thaw some of the ice weighing me down. I selected 10 petite pots and with the help of my girlfriend, painted unique designs for each one. I carefully selected the seeds and kept the packets in the same order as the pots so I could easily label the new plants after they were all potted.

However, my ever so graceful cat decided he would help too, knocking all of the seed packets onto the floor and breaking one of the pots…

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This survivor managed to live through the fall and is taking to its emergency home nicely.

With the shattered fragments of clay swept away, and the soil moved to an emergency jam container, I sat and tried to remember which seeds I had put where. I thought about digging them up, but some of the seeds are so impossibly small, I knew I would never be able to find them.  Down, but not out I collected the jars and placed them my southern window and resolved to wait for the sprouts to come. After a couple of weeks, the sprouts have sprung up despite the snow outside, though as of now I am still at a loss as to what they are. It looks like what I should have purchased was this.

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These guys look like fine sprouts, but its too early to tell what they are.

 

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I am almost certain that this is basil. By far the healthiest plant

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A little slow out of the gate, but progress is progress.

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Not sure what these could be, but I am thinking lavender.
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Seems to like the sun and is a fast grower.

 

 

 

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One baby sprout just barely poking its head out.

 

 

 

 

 

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No signs of life yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Alex Bryant is a graduate of the University of Virginia with dual degrees in biology in music. He started at Monticello as an intern and now works as the Assistant Coordinator of Monticello’s Heritage Harvest Festival. 

If you would like to grow your own garden with historic seeds from Monticello, here are some helpful links to get you started.

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Somewhere to keep all of those precious seeds.

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A safe place to begin your garden

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Handy tool to help space out seeds and plants.

 

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Win Our Holiday Favorites

pinitGlobeFlutes1The Shop at Monticello is offering a NEW holiday contest this year! Anyone can head on over to Pinterest and Pin to Win a Monticello Musical Snow Globe.

Monticello is truly beautiful after a new snow. Our highly collectible snow globe is an accurate three dimensional view of the home of Thomas Jefferson. The semicircular globe sits on a faux wood resin base. The snow globe plays Mozart’s Eline Kleine Nachtmusik, a song well known to Jefferson. 4 1/2″ diameter, 5 1/4″ high. Available for $56.

Attending a Monticello Holiday Event? Pin a photo from your visit with the hashtag #MonticelloHoliday and you could win the Monticello Musical Snow Globe and a Monticello Toasting Flutes Gift Set! Anyone who participates in a Wreath or Gingerbread House Workshop, the Holiday Open House, our Holiday Classic 5K, Handmade for the Holidays or a Holiday Evening Tour is eligible to enter.

cvr_champagne_smallJefferson was a true connoisseur. Monticello champagne flutes, with their clean forms and exquisite engraving, speak volumes about his taste for fine design. Very little of the glassware Jefferson purchased between 1767 and 1821 survives. Our stemware, based on a rare original, is mouth-blown full lead crystal, cut and etched by hand with a sprig and wheel band.

Each exclusive Toasting Flutes Gift Set includes two handmade champagne flutes nestled in a black velvet-lined gift box tied with Monticello ribbon. Toast the new year with style and celebrate weddings, anniversaries or other momentous occasions with our sophisticated stemware. Each 5-oz. glass is 9″h and the set is a $149 value.

For more of The Shop’s seasonal favorites, visit http://www.monticelloshop.org/home-decor-seasonal.html

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Jefferson in France: Then and Now

The five years that Thomas Jefferson lived in Paris, France made for some of the most influential times in his life. While abroad, Jefferson had the opportunities to experience great art and architecture, some of which followed him back to the states. The Hôtel de Salm, which currently houses the headquarters of the Legion of Honor, was a building that greatly intrigued Jefferson. Jefferson wrote about this Parisian architecture to Madame de Tessé: “While in Paris, I was violently smitten with the Hôtel de Salm, and used to go to the Thuileries almost daily, to look at it.” He saw the remodeled Palais Royal, the Halle aux Bleds, and various cathedrals, including Sainte-Genevieve (the Panthéon) and the Madeleine. These structures, in particular the dome of Hôtel de Salm, were the inspiration for Monticello design.

Today, Jefferson’s admiration of the Hotel de Salm remains through a 10-foot bronze statue on the left bank of the Seine River in Paris. The statue is situated so that Jefferson’s eyes point towards his inspiration, holding a piece of paper showing his first vision of Monticello.

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From my own time in France it was easy to see how Jefferson was so heavily influenced by Paris. Jefferson described what he gained from France as a “treasure of art, science and sentiment.” I believe anyone could agree on this statement, even in today’s world. Paris is one of the cleaner cities I’ve encountered, and also one of the greenest. There are many parks, including the royal Tuileries, Jefferson’s preference, that give the city a more peaceful feel. Also, nearly all of central Paris is built of beautiful, timeless buildings. After a visit, it was clear why Jefferson loved spending time there and was so inspired.

France was not only an influence on Jefferson’s architecture preferences, but also his everyday life. After his five year stay, he had 86 crates arranged to be shipped back to Philadelphia, including chairs, clocks, and goblets. Today you can find French-inspired items and Jeffersonian reproductions through The Shop at Monticello.

 

 

5 Favorites from an American Top Landmark

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In celebration of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello being named one of Trip Advisor’s Top 25 Landmark Attractions in 2014, here’s a list of five of our favorite Jeffersonian keepsakes. These selections, both stylish and useful, were chosen for their link to Jefferson and his historic home. Your purchase of these classic gifts from The Shop supports Monticello. Help preserve this World Heritage site, visit, and give the gift of history today!

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Tulip Poplar Twist Pen

For 200 years, Tulip Poplars planted by Thomas Jefferson stood sentinel by Monticello’s west lawn portico. Then, in 2008 and 2011, the enormous trees succumbed to age and illness and were taken down. Dennis Hippen is one of several local artisans The Thomas Jefferson Foundation has entrusted to honor their beauty and historic significance. He uses the wood from these majestic trees has been used to create this handsome pen. Bring this authentic souvenir home and use it as a reminder of your visit.

liberty-jefferson-cup-11Liberty Jefferson Cup

This pewter cup is a patriotic souvenir whose design goes back to 1810, when Jefferson commissioned a silversmith to make eight cups from his own design, he probably never imagined how popular they would become. Exquisitely simple, extremely versatile, they are as suitable for serving a festive punch as they are for holding cufflinks or paper clips. This cup is engraved with “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” of course there is a variety of different quotes you can pick from on our website or you can engrave your own initials!

 

monticellostore_2272_94086775Wheel Cypher Secret Decoder

This gift will please any espionage enthusiast or individual looking to send a secret message. While serving as President George Washington’s secretary of state (1790-1793), Thomas Jefferson devised an ingenious and secure method to encode and decode messages: the wheel cypher. During the American Revolution, Jefferson had relied primarily on messengers to hand-carry sensitive letters, but codes became an essential part of his correspondence when he was America’s minister to France (1784-1789) since European postmasters opened and read all letters passing through their command.

 

monticellostore_2272_85438907Monticello’s Kitchen Garden Sampler

Take home seeds from Jefferson’s garden to start your own Thomas Jefferson grew nearly 300 varieties of vegetables in his 1000 foot kitchen garden terrace, once described as a hanging garden. The following collection of eight 19th century culinary delights will provide a bountiful harvest for the table throughout the summer season. All are grown in Monticello’s kitchen garden today.

 

monticellostore_2271_46204808Monticello Fruit Butter Gift Basket

Enjoy this basket of selected preserves from Jefferson’s garden. Mrs. Margaret Bayard Smith, a frequent Monticello visitor, once wrote that Jefferson’s breakfast spread was a tantalizing affair. She described his breakfast table as being “as large as our dinner table,” complete with “muffins, hot wheat and corn bread, cold ham and butter.” Sweeten your own breakfast table or delight a toast, biscuit or waffle-loving friend with 9 oz. jars of Monticello Apple Butter, Peach Butter, Strawberry Butter and Sweet Potato Butter packed in a handsome lidded wooden-slat basket with brass hinges and clasp.

For information on how plan a visit to this historic destination, visit www.monticello.org.

On This Day in History: Lewis & Clark

modernrecreations Recreations of artifacts sent to Jefferson by Meriwether Lewis hang in the Hall of Monticello[/caption]

Thomas Jefferson commissioned the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1803 to explore the northwest territory in order to observe a transcontinental route and natural resources. In 1804, about 45 men led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark moved up the Missouri River, crossed the Rocky Mountains, and from the Columbia River, reached the Pacific Ocean by November 1805. They returned to St. Louis by September 1806 with great fanfare and important information on native people, plants and animals, and geography.

On June 19, 1803, Meriwether Lewis wrote William Clark inviting him to help lead the exploration of the Louisiana Territory. Lewis concluded his letter with the following:

“If therefore there is anything under those circumstances, in this enterprise, which would induce you to participate with me in it’s fatiegues, it’s dangers and it’s honors, believe me there is no man   on earth with whom I should feel equal pleasure in sharing them as with yourself.”

Commemorate their historic expedition with exploration themed accents and learn more about their journey’s legacy with books available from The Shop at Monticello!

Celebrate Graduation with Jefferson-Inspired Gifts

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“This institution of my native state, the hobby of my old age, will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind, to explore and to expose every subject susceptible of it’s contemplation.”

-Thomas Jefferson on the University of Virginia December 26, 1820

Commemorate graduation with these Jefferson-inspired pieces! Classic and timeless, these keepsakes will last a lifetime, inspiring your graduate to tackle his or her “dreams of the future.”

Jefferson Cups

Sterling Reproduction Cup with Gold-washed Interior

In 1810, when Jefferson commissioned a silversmith to make eight cups from his own design, he probably never imagined how popular they would become. The Shop at Monticello offers exclusive Jefferson Cups based on Jefferson’s design in pewter, silver and gold. Exquisitely simple and extremely versatile, Jefferson Cups are as suitable for serving a festive punch as they are for holding cufflinks or office supplies. Gift boxed and customizable with engraving, a Jefferson Cup is the perfect gift to mark this occasion. For your graduating wahoo, The Shop also offers Jefferson Cups engraved with the UVA seal.

personalized-chinese-railing-cuff-bracelet-31Personalized Jewelry

Inspired by the Chinese-style fretwork on the railings of Monticello’s raised terrace walks, this bracelet can be personalized with initials and matched with The Chinese Railing Necklace and Earrings, for stylish and versatile American-made look. The Shop at Monticello offers a wide-range of jewelry that evokes Jefferson’s distinct taste in art and architecture for your accessory-loving graduate or budding architect.

Classic Cufflinks

eaglesThe stylized eagle found on Monticello’s Entrance Hall ceiling provides the motif for these impressive cufflinks. As on the ceiling, each eagle is surrounded by 18 stars representing the United States between 1812 and 1816. These sterling silver cufflinks with gold-plated eagles and oxidized background are exquisitely handcrafted in Ireland. A perfect gift for your history buff or hopeful politician.

Shop dozens more inspired gifts for graduation on monticelloshop.org and celebrate graduation with us at Monticello’s Walk the Other Lawn!

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Introducing the Monticello Clock Scarf

The Shop at Monticello is excited to announce a new addition to its line of exclusive accessories–the Monticello Clock Scarf! This beautiful silk scarf is inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s distinctive timepieces. Signature elements from the cannonball-driven Great Hall Clock, the obelisk-flanked clock Jefferson designed for his bedchamber, his elegant French mantel clocks and pocket watch are all featured in this stylish piece.

MonticelloClockScarfThe clocks of Monticello, many of which were crafted to Jefferson’s specifications, reveal his desire for order, love of innovation and ability to modify the traditional to suit his needs.

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The Great Clock in the Hall

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The Pillar Clock in the Dining Room

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French Mantle Clock

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Obelisk Clock

Through his many letters, Jefferson’s ideas about time emerge. He frequently recommended ways for his loved ones to spend their time, such as playing music and reading to keep away “ennui.” On May 5, 1787, he wrote to his daughter Martha, “determine never to be idle. no person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any. it is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing. and that you may be always doing good, my dear, is the ardent prayer of yours affectionately.”

Versatile and stylish, the Monticello Clock Scarf is ready-to-wear twisted, tied or knotted around the neck, thrown over your shoulders, or styled as a head wrap. This “timeless and treasured piece’” for the “well-accessorized parent” was named number one in Thoughtful Gifts for Mom by The Scout Guide. Our Monticello-exclusive square scarf with a hand-rolled hem is a perfect gift for Mother’s Day–or anytime–for the lady with an eye for fashion and a love of history, art and architecture.

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Soothe Your Senses with this Heirloom Herb

lavandula_stoechasThomas Jefferson grew lavender at Monticello. His records show it listed  for planting in the kitchen garden as early as 1794. Valued for its small purple flowers as well as for its fragrant gray leaves, lavender has been grown and used in Europe since at least the twelfth century. At Monticello, the herb was made into soaps and oils for bathing fragrances and used in medicinal treatments.  Today, English Lavender flowers brighten Monticello’s West Lawn and Vegetable gardens with rich hues of purple and emerald. Infused with aromatic oils, lavender has been a popular household herb for centuries. It is highly regarded for its ability to nourish and cleanse skin, while its sweet, floral aroma soothes the senses. The Monticello Shop offers a variety of lavender bed & bath products that will transform your home into a haven of calm serenity.

Rejuvenate Your Senses

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The Lavender Spa Trio is a mini at-home spa treat. The trio features lavender-peppermint foot balm, lavender hand creme with mango seed butter, and lavender sea salt bath crystals. This relaxing gift is perfect for Mother’s Day (or anytime)!

The Monticello Lavender Bath Set facilitates ultimate relaxation guests and housemates. The boxed set includes three lavender soaps milled in the style of 18th century toiletries, a container of lavender talcum powder, and a soft powder puff. A beautiful gift or personal indulgence.

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Revitalize Your Home

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Lavender sachets keep clothes smelling beautifully fresh while repelling moths and protecting natural fibers. Our Lavender Sachets feature a full yard of dried lavender seeds wrapped in lilac organza. Perfect for hanging in the closet or cutting apart to place inside drawers. The French Stamp Sachet Trio features three lavender sachets decorated with old French stamp motifs and are convenient for placing inside dresser compartment.

For long-lasting freshness, hang Lavender Hanger Covers in your closet. The Hanger Covers are filled with dried lavender and repel moths and other insects. Lavender Drawer Liners are perfect for lining dresser drawers, linen closets, and storage boxes. Each sheet retains its lavender qualities for a long, long time, leaving you relaxed and worry-free!

Jefferson-Inspired Jewelry: Garden & Grounds

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The Shop at Monticello’s handmade bronze and silver jewelry draws inspiration from Thomas Jefferson’s varied interests. Featured here are unique garden-themed pieces that celebrate the third president’s love of nature and his revolutionary Monticello gardens. Each piece represents a different part of Jefferson’s gardening legacy: The Peapod and Blueberry Collections showcase Jefferson’s  favorite vegetable and fruits he planted in Monticello’s Garden; the Ginkgo Collection highlights the Ginkgo tree, a deciduous tree from the time of dinosaurs, that Jefferson planted in 1807; pieces like the sterling silver Dogwood necklace and earrings memorialize the abundance of beautiful Dogwood blossoms that paint the Monticello Grounds pink and white during the spring. More Jefferson-inspired jewelry can be found in Jewelry online and in store at The Shop at Monticello.