Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg's Joyful Wreaths: IV

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not exactly a wreath, but this fossilized shell and sprays of wheat still count as Christmas decorations in Colonial Williamsburg. The fossil is a Chesapecten jeffersonius, from the nearby James River – the official "state fossil" of Virginia. Chesapecten fossils were first noted by the Jamestown settlers in the early 17th c., and  officially given their scientific name in 1824 in honor of American President Thomas Jefferson. Chesapecten fossils were also the first North American fossil to be depicted in a European scientific publication,  Historiae Conchyliorum, published in 1687 by Martin Lister (who was, in that impossibly small world of 17th c. England, uncle to Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough) – all of which makes this a thoroughly historical Christmas ornament.

4 comments:

rebecca said...

oh, I love this one. Very unusual. I really appreciate you sharing wreath pictures, I love Williamsburg decorations. After a couple years ago when I was able to go out there just before Christmas, I have been even more hooked than ever. I was really wondering what would be up this year for decorations.
I am new to finding your blog...I love it. You to ladies are great.

lostpastremembered said...

What an amazing wreath!!! I love the shell and wheat... how great of you to share it...most inspiring!

mike said...

As a histroy teacher I came upon your blog during my research and am always so happy when you decribe historical fact that I both didn't know and that helps my students see how history is still interconnect to our present

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Thank you, all, for your kind words! We're delighted that there are so many of you fellow-history-nerds out there...:)

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