Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg: Day IV

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

More holiday decorations from Colonial Williamsburg, ranging from the humble (apples, seed pods, and clam shells) to the grand (the royal lion and unicorn standing guard outside the gate to the Governor's Palace.)  Many of the interpreters also look mighty festive; while no one is wearing plush Santa hats, there certainly are more scarlet waistcoats, breeches, and gowns than usual on Duke of Gloucester Street.  I believe the gentleman on horseback, above, is Thomas Jefferson.

Even Mrs. Peyton Randolph (one of the most important ladies in 18th c. Williamsburg) was elegantly dressed in red for a Christmas Eve entertainment that she and her husband hosted in the Capitol.  But we were so intent on taking her picture, left, as she bid farewell to her guests that we've no idea who the mysterious gentleman in the fur coat (the ghost of Edward Gorey?) might be.  As Theo noted earlier this week, odd things happen in photographs shot at night!


Mme.Tresbeau said...

I love the wreath with the shells. They look like angels' wings. Did you happen to see how they were held on, by glue or by wire or something else?
Happy new year!

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Lovely pictures. Reminds me of seeing the Christmas decorations up at Van Cortlandt Manor in Westchester.

Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scott said...

Mme. T., I'm sorry to say I have no idea how the shells are attached to the wreath. Looking back at the picture, I'm guessing glue rather than wires, and a strong glue at that, to support the weight of all those large shells.

Elizabeth Kerri --It's been a while since I visited Van Courtlandt Manor (I grew up on the other side of the river, in northern Bergen County) and I've never seen it at Christmas, but I do remember it fondly. Same time period as CW, but with an entirely different "feel" on account of representing the Dutch colonists rather than the English. Have you ever been to Boscobel, a little further up the Hudson and a little later in history? Now THAT'S my dream house! *g*

nightsmusic said...

I thought of Edward Gorey too when I glanced at that picture.

I've had a great amount of fun this past week or so pouring over your pictures and being jealous because you were there and I wasn't ;)

Thanks for a great trip. It's been lots of fun. :)

Happy New Year to you both, and your families as well. May 2010 bring you only the best of everything.


Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scott said...

Thanks, Theo. And I'm glad you thought of Edward Gorey, too, even if he has zero to do with CW. *g*

I have one more batch of pix (actually I have tons more, thanks to the glorious ease of digital cameras, but I'm showing rare Restraint) for tomorrow night -- then lots more info to come from the tailors and the milliners over time. We have some excellent things planned for the new year!

Speaking of which -- happy wishes for 2010 to you all!

Emma J said...

I enjoyed these photos alot! Great theme for the holiday week.
Question: is the lady in red wearing a wig, or a white hat?
Happy New Year, everyone!

Jenny Girl said...

These photos have been just great all week. Whenever I went to Williamsburg, the place was deserted, although it wasn't holiday time, but still. Loving these posts. THanks for sharing.

Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scott said...

Emma J., the lady in red (aka Mrs. Peyton Randolph) is wearing a white powdered wig. It was the first time I'd seen them worn for a night-time entertainment -- probably the only time a colonial Virginian lady would have worn one, too. Though I have to admit that while I'm a total sucker for 18th c. dress, those white wigs just don't do it for me.....:(

Jenny Girl, thank you! I'm glad you've enjoyed the pictures. I had to work hard to get that "deserted" look; CW during the holidays is very crowded -- you were fortunate to visit when it wasn't.

heritagestitchery said...

I could be incorrect, but do
not believe that to be
Mr. Jefferson...although he
is always a great addition
to photos of Williamsburg.
I have been mesmerized by
your collection of CW at
Christmas...and does not
Winterthur remain true to
its seemingly unchanging
adherence to the period
it presents? No surprises
there....I share your love
of Boscobel and NJ roots.
Your blog is always a treat.

The Late Mrs. R. said...

Hi, Loretta & Susan -- I'm was the Mrs. Randolph in the photo & I came across your blog in a search for some photos of Peyton Randolph photos. I'm not at CW any more, but those balls were some fabulous memories for me, so thanks for sharing! I'll definitely look into your books, they look fabuluos!

Two Nerdy History Girls. Design by Pocket