Numbering close to 15,000 items, the Tudor Place object collection spans the period 1750-1983. Incredible for its depth and breadth, the objects represented range from George Washington’s presidential dinner and dessert service to a full complement of 20th century kitchenware. The object collection represents the layered history of the property, with every generation of Peter family occupation represented. Over half of the collection is currently on exhibit in the Main House.
A group of objects with history of use at George and Martha Washington’s Mount Vernon home are highlights of the collection. The Washington Collection includes pieces from the Washington’s Sevres porcelain dinner service, Martha Washington’s English Chippendale tea table, a Society of Cincinnati soup plate, an unusual waxwork by Samuel Fraunces of Fraunces Tavern in New York, and one of only three existing letters from George to Martha Washington.
The Tudor Place silver is one of the finest regional 19th century collections and includes examples from English and Continental makers as well as significant American makers and retailers like Kirk, Tiffany and Gorham. Highlights include a silver porringer dating to 1734 owned by Martha Peter’s father, John Parke Custis; a grand cake basket and other serving pieces made by the Georgetown silversmith Charles Alexander Burnett and a number of pieces in the Baltimore repoussé style associated with Samuel Kirk of Baltimore.
The ceramics at Tudor Place span over 200 years of workmanship from America, England, Europe, and China, comprising an important collection of table and decorative porcelain ware, including a large collection of porcelain figures. Highlights include a Chinese export porcelain punch bowl with a Western scene of the foxhunt on the interior and an Eastern scene of rice cultivation on the exterior, a Meissen tea service, dating from the 1740s and an urn by the Tucker pottery of Philadelphia, a rare example of early American porcelain.
The Tudor Place collection including fine examples of 19th century mourning jewelry and exquisite hairwork, a diverse collection of gemstones purchased at exclusive New York retailers like Tiffanys and Black, Starr and Frost, examples from the 20th century and an impressive miniatures collections. Highlights include a miniature of George Washington given to Martha Curtis on the eve of her marriage to Thomas Peter.
The print and drawing collections span the centuries, from the early years of the new nation well into the 20th century. It contains a diverse sampling of artists including John Trumbull, Edward Savage, Charles Bird King, Paul Bartlett, Cecelia Beaux, Joseph Pennell, Frank Benson, Anders Zorn, and Walter Gay. It also contains works by family members, including a large group of sketches and watercolors executed by the last owner of the house, Armistead Peter 3rd. Highlights include a double-sided presentation drawing of Tudor Place by the architect, Dr. William Thornton, and a Thomas Cheeseman engraving of George Washington, after a painting by John Trumbull.
Tudor Place is home to a significant collection of bronzes by American sculptor Paul Wayland Bartlett (1865 - 1925). Bartlett was stepfather to Armistead Peter III’s wife, Caroline Ogden-Jones Peter. The collection also extends outdoors to the impressive garden sculpture.
The magnificent furniture collection at Tudor Place contains examples of American, English, and French furniture, representing styles popular from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Highlights include Martha Washington’s 18th century English tea table, George Washington’s chest-on-chest, Thomas and Martha Peter’s Baltimore card table, as well as a set of painted Baltimore side chairs, a locally-made secretary with a stunning cylinder-fall desk and a charming ‘school girl art’ work table, dating to c1820, painted by America Peter and presented to her mother, Martha.
1919 Pierce-Arrow 48-B5 Roadster, purchased by Armistead Peter Jr. and his wife Nannie, for their son Armistead Peter III. The family owned a series of Pierce-Arrow cars but this car proved to be Armistead Peter III’s favorite and he kept it until his death in 1983, even placing it in storage during the depression, when the a more economical Chrysler replaced it in use.