The family had Thanksgiving dinner in Maryland and the next morning we were on our way to Williamsburg, VA for a few days. Our main objective was to see the Tasha Tudor dollhouse. Of course, we always enjoy visiting Williamsburg but for us to see the dollhouse was special. We had tried before but it was not on display. This time it had just opened in its new surroundings in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller exhibit at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. It was the very first thing on our agenda.
After a long walk through the museum we came upon it and oh my, I was not prepared for its size! It is one-fourth human size and that is huge to a Hitty! We Hittys felt so small in comparison. We had hoped that Emma and Captain Crane would be there but alas, they were not, however, we found the furnishings interesting.
We could stand on the case to see into the first floor but had to be held up to see the upstairs. I kept marveling at all the beautiful things as my sisters oohed and aahed over each room. The Robertson's daughter Carol started taking pictures immediately.
The first thing that took Hitty Carol's eye was the polar bear rug in the study. The story about it was as interesting as the rug! It seems that an ermine had gotten into Tasha Tudor's real henhouse and killed 10 hens and the next day, her favorite rooster! Her grandson took care of the situation by ending the villain's life and sending him off to a taxidermist to be made into the rug!
While we were still looking at the first floor, Hitty Carol and HittyBelle were interested in the blue and white china in the dining room. The set consisted of a complete forty piece service of dinner and luncheon plates, bowls, platters, covered dishes, a gravy boat, and a soup tureen. Not shown in our picture was a set of red wine glasses hand-blown by Francis Whittemore. We were impressed because he is the same gentleman that made all the crystal glasses in our Twin Manor.
Carol took pictures of several other rooms so I will put them in the Journal even though none of the Hittys are in them.
In the curio cabinet in the hallway are several Austrian bronze figurines, some of which portray Beatrix Potter characters. Tasha Tudor and Beatrix Potter' work always reminds me of each others.
We found the kitchen to be quite interesting also and I understand it has some pieces in it that are exact replicas of items in Tasha Tudor's real kitchen at Corgi Cottage in Vermont.
Esther held Hitty Carol up so she could see in the bedroom. In the foreground sat one of the leather toiletry cases belonging to Emma and Captain Crane. The cases contain mirrors, combs, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, soap, buttonhooks, shoehorns and odd storage jars. Emms's case contains glass vials of perfume inscribed "Emma." Hitty Carol said she felt tiny standing so close that big bed!
We lingered a long time at the dollhouse and then it was time to go. We all wanted to stroll on Duke of Gloucester Street and take in the feeling of a time long ago. The weather was just perfect with a bit of a nip in the air but lots of sunshine. There were just enough people around and it was quite pleasant without crowds.
This was the week before Williamsburg starts their Christmas celebration and some of the outdoor decorations were already in place. Most of them are made with natural items and we particularly admired the ones made with apples.
We are home now but not for long. We are all planning to go back to the Maryland and Virginia area for the Christmas holiday. In the meantime Gretchen and Gunther, the Bavarian dolls have invited us to a Christmas party and I hear they are serving all German holiday treats!
Postscript: There is now a little picture book available in Hitty's Book Shelf. The book contains 15 pictures, half of outdoor scenes of Williamsburg and the other half pictures of the Hittys viewing the Tasha Tudor dollhouse. Esther
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