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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.

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.

 

“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

Dining Room

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.