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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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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.

NEW Red, White, and Blue!

“…the paper of July 4.76 was but the Declaration, the genuine effusion of the soul of our country at that time.” -Thomas Jefferson to James Mease, September 16, 1825

fourth-of-july-picnic-set-for-two-4Decorate and dine with festive American flare this Memorial Day or Fourth of July! These new selections are perfect for your patriotic summer picnic or party.

Looking for a ready-to-go celebration? The Shop at Monticello’s Fourth of July Picnic Set includes packs of 8 paper dinner plates, 8 paper dessert plates and 20 cocktail napkins, two sets of red, white and blue silverware, two travel wine glasses, a tin bucket, two reproduction Declarations of Independence, three little 15-star flags and four fun firecracker mini-torch candles, all packed in a stylish red-and-white striped canvas tote.

The Shop’s Travel Wine Glass with Liberty Quote is an essential picnic accessory, featuring Jefferson’s immortal words “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

cotton-bunting-4-x-8-4Draw on classic American designs and historical traditions for your patriotic gathering or Independence Day party. Red, white and blue cotton bunting made in the U.S.A. is the perfect design centerpiece for your celebration.

Salute the season with historical and modern American flag accents. Flag-themed rugs are a wonderful way to greet guests and flag-themed throws invite your guests, family and friends to wrap themselves in American comfort.

Accentuate your walls with a patriotic pop. Framed reproductions of American flags, historical prints and classic silhouettes, similar to those in Jefferson’s Monticello Parlor, showcase American pride and history.

For a truly inspirational experience, celebrate the Fourth of July morning at Monticello, the home of the author of the Declaration of Independence. Since 1963, more than 3,000 people from every corner of the globe have taken the oath of citizenship at the annual Monticello Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony. David M. Rubenstein will be the featured speaker on July 4, 2014 at Monticello’s 52nd Annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony—the oldest continuous naturalization ceremony held outside of a courtroom in the United States. Rubenstein is best known as co-Founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager.

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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A Historic Visit

Presidents Obama and Hollande in the Cabinet

From Thomas Jefferson’s lifetime to the present day, people have journeyed to Jefferson‘s mountaintop seeking inspiration and knowledge of the man who penned, as he called it, an “expression of the American mind” and a creed for democracies around the globe. Monticello, Jefferson’s three-dimensional biography, has welcomed United States presidents, foreign heads of state, and key international figures throughout its history, including President James Madison, the Marquis de Lafayette, Queen Elizabeth II, President Ronald Reagan, President Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Dalai Lama.

On the Occasion of the State Visit of The President of the French Republic to the United States February 10, 2014, Thomas Jefferson Foundation President Leslie Greene Bowman welcomed the President of the United States, Barack Obama, and His Excellency François Hollande, President of the French Republic, on the East Walk. This was the first time either President Obama or President Hollande had visited Monticello and the first time in Monticello’s long history that a sitting U.S. President accompanied another head of state to Monticello.

During their tour of Monticello, the presidents viewed many examples of French influence including Jefferson’s Voltaire and Turgot busts, copies of original Houdon plasters that Jefferson brought back from France, the Dome Room, and several pieces of furniture and decorative arts. President Hollande was delighted to see books in the French language resting upon Jefferson’s infamous Revolving Bookstand in his Cabinet room. They also visited the Monticello kitchen where meals were said to have been prepared in “half-Virginian, half-French style” by servants trained in the French culinary arts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jefferson, inspired by French culture and Enlightenment ideas, was our most famous Francophile. He famously said of the French people to Abigail Adams, “I do love this people with all my heart” and he once wrote that if he could not live in the United States, he would live in France. In 1784, Jefferson went to Paris and served as the U.S. Minister to France. While there, he avidly studied European culture, sending back books, seeds, plants, statues, architectural drawings, scientific instruments and person notes home to Monticello. His enthusiasm for the culture and intellectual vibrancy of France is visible throughout his home in the surviving furniture and tableware.

After the tour, the presidents reflected upon the historic relationship between the United States and France. President Obama remarked:

“As one of our Founding Fathers, the person who drafted our Declaration of Independence, somebody who not only was an extraordinary political leader but also one of our great scientific and cultural leaders, Thomas Jefferson represents what’s best in America.  But as we see as we travel through his home, what he also represents is the incredible bond and the incredible gifts that France gave to the United States, because he was a Francophile through and through.”

President Hollande also recognized Monticello’s significance to the relationship between the United States and France:

“This is Thomas Jefferson’s house, which means that this was a man who understood — met the secretary of Enlightenment, and he wanted to represent this life throughout this house.  You can see life everywhere.  You can see it the objects, in the refinement of the objects, and its architecture.”

As a philosopher, president, food connoisseur, gardener, and scientist, Jefferson’s legacy has inspired and moved each generation since his lifetime. Today, Monticello remains a symbol of knowledge and illumination for visitors past, present, and future.

For photos of past visiting heads of state or more images of President Obama and President Hollande at Monticello, visit www.monticello.org. For our “Jefferson and France” Collection, visit www.monticelloshop.org.

 

 

5 Ways to Celebrate the Season

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For Thomas Jefferson, Christmas was “the day of greatest mirth and jollity.” As was customary during the time, Jefferson celebrated the full 12 days of the Christmas season. The usual activities included traveling to the homes of friends and family, placing greenery around the house, and hosting and attending parties. Jefferson gathered his circle of family, which he affectionately called “the fireside,” around him during the holidays. This season draw inspiration from Monticello and make your festivities merry with classic accents and DIY workshops from The Shop.

 

Festive Greenery

red-apple-wall-hanging-214[1]While Christmas trees were not popular until the 1840s, natural elements like decorative greenery, sprigs of holly in the windows, or holly and bay leaves in vases were likely adornments during Jefferson’s time. A Harvest Glow Wreath, featuring Monticello’s primary export wheat, or a Dried Berry Wreath with Satin Bow, a classic combination of red and green, are sure to show off your seasonal spirit.

If you enjoy DIY, visit The Shop for one of Monticello’s Holiday Wreath Workshops. These ever-popular workshops, in their 27th year, produce a gratifying and tangible end product: a beautiful holiday wreath. Janet Miller, Lou Hatch, and Maggie Stemann Thompson lead participants through the process in these three-hour sessions. All materials (straw wreath forms, pins, wire, etc.) are provided, including a cornucopia of natural materials sourced from Monticello. Bring your own hand pruners and visit Monticello.org for tickets to this annual event.

 

Classic Candlelight

ivorytapersDark wintry days and the remoteness of life in the countryside could lead to winter doldrums for Jefferson’s family. Lighting was essential in keeping “many a dull winter in Albemarle” at bay. Jefferson encouraged his grandchildren to outline a course of winter reading and used the reflecting reading candelabrum and alabaster lamp in his library for his own research and entertainment. Candles lit evening celebrations, games, and music at Monticello. Brighten your home with holiday-inspired Ivory Glitter Tree Tapers or Red Metal Lanterns, great for use inside or outdoors, from the Shop at Monticello.

Experience Monticello illuminated with a Holiday Evening Tour. These small-group house tours, offered nightly through most of December, give visitors an intimate look at how the holidays were celebrated in Jefferson’s time and include a walk through of the Dome Room.

 

Seasonal Flavors

peppermint-bark-6Holiday celebrations were more modest than those we know today, but special food would have been the focal point of the winter gatherings. Guests at Monticello could have enjoyed Country Ham and Hot Chocolate during the holiday season. Traditional savory and sweet foods including Peppermint Chocolate Bark, Chocolate Covered Gourmet Apples, Country Cured Slab Bacon, Virginia Spoon Bread, and Monticello Sparkling Cider from The Shop are prefect treats for your winter festivities.

Many seasonal decorations evolved around the grand display of food on the table.  Whether or not you are a fan of traditional baked goods in the “season of mince pies,” as Jefferson termed it, using apples and other holiday scents in your décor can set a familiar festive tone for your gatherings. The Shop’s Monticello Holiday Elegance Potpourri and Spicy Apple Botanical Wax Sachets are great choices for evoking the scents of the season.

Add some tasty DIY to your décor and embrace your inner architect during our My Monticello Gingerbread House Family Workshop. This icing intense program offers fun for the whole family. With hot chocolate and cookies fueling your creativity, you’ll work together to craft a delicious, hand-made addition to your home’s holiday décor.

 

Holiday Keepsakes

wooden-drum-214During the 1809 Christmas, Jefferson wrote that his eight-year-old grandson, Francis Epps was “at this moment running about with his cousins bawling out ‘a merry Christmas’ ‘a Christmas gift, etc.” Christmas then and now is a time to gather family around you. Typically gifts were given by parents to children, from masters to slaves but not from dependents to superiors.  The Shop offers gifts that are both classic and fun for kids of all ages like a Personalized Trunk, Child’s Pewter Cup, or Nine Men’s Morris Travel Game. For both young and old, gifts inspired by Jefferson’s Monticello make treasured keepsakes.

For handcrafted, historic, and unique gifts, visit the Shop at Monticello for Handmade for the Holidays. Meet artisans, sample holiday treats, enjoy craft demonstrations, and shop for gifts made in Virginia. Visit Monticello.org for more information on this annual event or monticelloshop.org to shop these one-of-a-kind gifts online.

 

Merry Traditions

carolerChristmas cards and hymns were popular though not necessarily the same ones and tunes of today. “Adestes Fideles,”” Joy to the World,” “The First Noel,” “God Rest you Merry Gentlemen,” and “The Holly and the Ivy” were some of the carols sung at Monticello. Jefferson was fond of music throughout his life and the parlor was the scene of many musical performances and much holiday revelry. A Monticello Musical Snow Globe or a handcrafted Thomas Jefferson Caroler are great ways to commemorate the sounds of the season.

Like “dashing through the snow?” Start a new tradition and join the 4th Annual Monticello Holiday Classic 5K. Both festive and fun, this family-oriented 5K begins at the East Walk of Monticello and ends at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center. Kids 12 and under can enjoy the Deck the Halls Kids Dash, a loop around the West Lawn within the shadows of Monticello. Pre-registration is suggested, but day-of registration is available. Visit Monticello.org for more information and holiday merriment.

Behind the Scenes: Monticello Hosts House Beautiful

“…it may be said that Mr. Jefferson is the first American who has consulted the Fine Arts to know how he should shelter himself from the weather.”

-The Marquis de Chasteluux, 1782 on his first visit to Monticello

House Beautiful November coverHouse Beautiful magazine, the leading authority on American home design and decoration, recently announced the launch of a “pop up” guest editor series and named renowned interior designer, Charlotte Moss, as guest editor for the November 2013 issue themed “The Arts of Living.” A trustee of Monticello, Moss saw the November issue as a natural opportunity to highlight Jefferson’s legacy at his mountaintop home.  She reached out to Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Executive Editor at Random House, and fellow Monticello trustee, Jon Meacham to collaborate.

As a result of this extraordinary collaboration, the November issue will include special sections on home fragrance, books, music, and wine, as well as images from a photo shoot at Monticello with displays curated by Moss, and an exclusive essay by Meacham titled “The Jeffersonian Ideal: Life at Monticello.”

To gather images and inspiration for the November Issue, Charlotte Moss and House Beautiful arrived at Monticello for a two day photo shoot with a full crew of photographers, editors, and assistants this July.

Then, Monticello staff, including Senior Curator and Vice President of Museum Programs, Susan Stein (below, center, to the right of HB‘s Orli Ben-Dor) and Director of Garden and Grounds, Gabriele Rausse, guided the House Beautiful crew around Monticello, answering questions and providing information for the magazine and web features.

The tour included a full walkthrough of the house and gardens (below, left) as well as a trip to the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Tufton Farm.

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gabrieleAfter the tour, lunch was set up in the Orchard (above).

The House Beautiful crew tasted products from The Shop including Monticello Root Beer, Monticello Fig Preserves, and Monticello Peach Salsa.

Fresh picked tomatoes and basil from the Vegetable Garden were also served while Gabriele Rausse (left) gave a talk on Jefferson, wine, and gardening.

Next, Monticello staff and House Beautiful’s crew prepped for the photo shoot in The Greenhouse. Moss arranged the centerpiece in the staging area. Then everyone helped move the featured pieces into the Southeast Piazza .

Moss added the finishing touches to the table (below) and the photographer captured the scene.

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IMG_1923The following morning, House Beautiful and Moss (left) returned to capture a few last shots of Monticello.

Once the final photograph was taken, the crew got a chance to relax, enjoy the scenery, and swap favorite quotes from The Words of Thomas Jefferson on the steps of Monticello (above).

We loved hosting House Beautiful and we couldn’t be more excited about their magazine and web features of Monticello!

Visit The Shop for products featured by House Beautiful and inspired by Jefferson’s timeless genius and style.

 

Madiera Tasting at The Shop!

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madieraJoin us Wednesday October 9th at The Shop at Monticello for an introductory celebration and tasting of the new Thomas Jefferson Special Reserve Madeira.

As a young law student, Thomas Jefferson was introduced by his mentor’s wife, Mrs. Wythe, to a blend of one tenth “superfine” Malmsey to nine‐tenths dry Madeira. He never lost his taste for this elegant blend.

Thomas Jefferson Special Reserve celebrates this Jeffersonian ideal by blending a small amount of very old and rare Malvasia into a fine dry Madeira. Even more so than today, Malmsey was, in Jefferson’s time, extremely rare and expensive, often shipped in barrels one‐quarter the size of other Madeiras. So, this type of blend was not just a matter of taste, it was also a matter of economics.

Learn about the history of Jefferson and Madeira, and its important role in early America.  Enjoy tastings of the newly created Thomas Jefferson Special Reserve.

The Shop at Monticello (map)
  • Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Reservations: Not required

Presenters:

  • Jefferson and Madeira – Gabriele Rausse, Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello.
  • The history of Madeira – Mannie Berk, The Rare Wine Co.
  • The making of Jefferson Madeira – Ricardo Freitas, Vinhos Barbeito in Câmara de Lobos, Portugal.

“Bring the Look Home”

  

BRINGLOOKHOME4Southern Living Magazine’s August 2013 issue features Monticello as one of three iconic and historic Southern homes. Monticello is an expression of Thomas Jefferson’s interests in architecture, art, history, and innovation. We celebrate Jefferson’s remarkable style for its timelessness and classic style. The Shop at Monticello allows you to bring the look home.

Essential Tools

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Jefferson was a man of practicality; he filled his library with tools that were functional yet stylish. His family recalled that he spent hours at his desk penning letters to acquaintances, merchants, and political figures.

Evoke the craft of quill calligraphy characteristic of Jefferson’s letters and Memorandum notes with our Pewter Inkwell and Quill Set. The beautiful inkstand is a statement piece in any office or library.

Among the many ingenious devices found in Jefferson’s Cabinet the Revolving Bookstand was one that perhaps most clearly suggests Jefferson’s passion for knowledge. It was probably made or modified to Jefferson’s design and specifications in the joinery.  Our Revolving Bookstand reproduction is a Jefferson classic and a true Monticello replica. Designed for efficient and easy access to five books at a time, one can imagine Jefferson swiveling his volumes about on his desk while engrossed in profound thought. Our bookstand keeps important reference books, notes, and papers at the ready.

Worldly Accents

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Monticello’s Entrance Hall tells a story about the history of American culture and progress across many years. Its walls feature a variety of Native American artifacts, world maps, stone busts, and wild game mounts. As a reception area for Jefferson’s guests, the Hall was Jefferson’s opportunity to educate visitors about the culture of the surrounding region and their new country, as well as start a discussion about the articles in the room.

Jefferson was an avid collector of maps.  In an ongoing effort to place Monticello within the larger universe, Jefferson established a museum in his double-story Entrance Hall, complete with maps of the world, European paintings and sculptures, and examples of items from the New World. Our Magnetic Atlas Print adds a Jeffersonian touch to your own walls. The print is a reproduction of Maryland cartographer John Churchman’s 1790 map inscribed to George Washington. Its delicate attention to details suggests a former usefulness in charting the world as a magnetic entity.

Gilles Robert de Vaugondy also known as Le Sieur or Monsieur Robert, and his son, Didier Robert de Vaugondy were leading cartographers in France during the 18th century. Didier was appointed geographer to Louis XV in 1760 and published globes of various sizes.  The Monticello Globe with Stand is inspired by the 1745 Vaugondy globe, which showed the routes of contemporary explorers. The solid mahogany stand is a replica of an antique sphere stand.

Classic Furnishings

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Monticello’s Parlor was the site of celebrations, including weddings and christenings. Jefferson insisted upon quality-made furniture that was durable, stylish, and comfortable. To accommodate guests and family, there were a large number and variety of chairs, ranging from sofas that doubled as sleeping quarters for overnight guests to campeachy chairs. Jefferson admired the campeachy, or “siesta,” chairs because “Age, its infirmities and frequent illnesses have rendered indulgence in that easy kind of chair truly acceptable.” Granddaughter Ellen recalled seeing Jefferson in the campeachy chair, “where, in the shady twilight, I was used to see him resting.”

Bring his look home with our Campeachy Chair, which Jefferson appears to have popularized when he served as President and continued to use during his retirement at Monticello. Our campeachy chair is based upon a reproduction featured in Monticello’s parlor and adds a touch of elegant comfort to any office or living room.

Mahogany accents are one of Monticello’s distinguishing style features. The Shop at Monticello reproduces the finest quality replicas based upon the originals featured inside the house. Martha Jefferson used the Joinery Work Table as her sewing station, storing various needles and threads in its two generous drawers. The table’s elegant design and convenient drop leaves make it a versatile statement piece. The Monticello Canterbury was used as a portable rack for storing music sheets inside the house. Still handy today, the Canterbury is perfect for storing magazines, newspapers, or frequently used files. The gorgeous mahogany woodwork and brass casters make this reproduction piece an elegant accent as well as a functional tool.

Famous Hospitality

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Famous for his hospitality, Jefferson played host to members of his large family and numerous guests at Monticello. The Dining Room was frequently crowded with family and guests, invited and uninvited.

Extensive recent research by paint experts indicated that Jefferson chose a brilliant chrome yellow for the Dining Room around 1815. It was one of the most fashionable colors of the time and also one of the most expensive: Chrome yellow pigment cost $5 per pound, twice as much as Prussian blue and 33 times more than white lead. Ralph Lauren Home, sponsor of the Monticello’s Dining Room restoration (June 2010), debuted a new paint color, Monticello™ Yellow in September 2010.  Ralph Lauren Home has been a longtime supporter of great American treasures, including funding for the preservation of the original Star-Spangled Banner at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

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With hundreds of acres of fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens, one can imagine that visiting Monticello during Jefferson’s time was a delightful culinary experience. Daniel Webster described it as “half Virginian, half French.”

Jefferson preferred a more casual style of dining but maintained his preference for classic style with his serveware. The Shop at Monticello reproduces several items seen in the Monticello Dining Room and Tea Room.

The Creamware Basket was a staple in the dining room and the reproduction is perfect as a breadbasket or accent piece. It features an etched line design characteristic of the nineteenth century dining room.

Our Jefferson Flatware Set is a modern adaptation of the original French “fiddle and thread” pattern used in the Monticello Dining Room. Impress dinner guests with the same elegant, classic look Jefferson preferred at his table.

The Dining Room at Monticello also featured beautiful English pearlware with deep blue accents; our Monticello Reproduction Mug is based on pearlware artifacts excavated at Monticello. The handsome, hand-painted mug serves tea or coffee in classic, effortless style.