Twin Manor combines some of the finest features of several 18th century Georgian homes from Maine to Virginia. William R. Robertson envisioned the project in 1979 and spent seven years on the research and construction in conjunction with Esther Robertson, his mother.
Two identical one twelfth scale houses were built. One house was placed in the Robertson Collection and the other in the Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City where it is on permanent display.
Twin Manor had its debut in Washington, DC at National Geographic's Explorer's Hall in 1987.
The drawing room combines the designs of two houses, Graeme Park (Horsham, PA, c.1722 and Woodford Fairmont Park, Philadelphia, PA, c.1756). Approximately one hundred pieces of wood make up the carved over mantel.
The oil painting is a copy of "Lake Placid, NY" by Asher Brown Durand.
Tiny rosettes are carved in the dog eared molding surrounding the doors.
Wilton-on-the James in Virginia, c.1753 and the Wentworth-Gardner, Portsmouth, NH., c.1760 were combined to make the dining room.
The back wall is made of approximately 250 pieces and the left wall has a hidden doorway leading to a pantry in the back hallway.
Some of the items in the room are an antique sideboard, metal chairs, Meissen and Chelsea soup tureens, sterling silver pieces and blown glass crystal.
The center hallway combines Tulip Hill on the South River in Maryland, c.1756 and The Lindens, first of Danvers, MA, c.1754 and moved to Washington, DC in the mid 1930s.
Nine different sizes of balusters are found in the nearly 1,000 piece stairway. Over 50 hours went into making the wood cap on the railing.
The matched set of Imari bowls was made especially for Twin Manors.
The master bedroom is from the Gunston Hall library in Lorton, VA, c.1750.
A dressing room, linen closet and lady's sitting room lead off the back wall.
Above the bedside table is a box to hold a man's watch at night. 18th century watches would lose time if laid flat, therefore, a place was needed to hang them at night.
The kitchen combines ideas from the Jeremiah Lee Mansion in Marblehead, MA, c.1768. The ceiling is hand carved in walnut to represent hand hewn beams with knot holes.
The doors above the fireplace open exposing the rough brick work. Etched in one of the bricks is the inscription "Be Liberty Thine" as if done so by a patriot in the 18th century.
Chippendale Games Table
The tilt-top table has a needlepoint top stitched on 60 mesh silk gauze using silk sewing thread. The center scene was copied from an Italian tapestry and the floral border is Esther Robertson's own design. A total of 33,000 stitches make up the nine square inches.
The woodwork was carved of Swiss pearwood by William Robertson. The legs are dovetailed and the table has ball-and-claw feet, acanthus leaves on the knees with swags and tassels on the turned shaft.
Pictured is one of a pair of tables made especially for Twin Manors.
In the back hallway hangs "The Chase" (shown here actual size) from the Williamsburg collection.
The sampler was stitched by Esther Robertson. Fourteen colors of silk sewing thread were used for the needlepoint on 60 mesh silk gauze. Annelle Ferguson charted the design and William Robertson made the frame of Swiss pearwood.
The study, morning room and hallway rugs are stitched on 34 and 40 mesh silk gauze with one or two strands of DMC embroidery thread.
The designs are adaptations of 18th century rugs charted by various artists working in miniatures. Stitching and color choice were by Esther Robertson.
Note: Additional text and pictures of Twin Manor are in Chapter 29, My Journal - Hitty Robertson. Click here to view.
Return to Beginning