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Sep. 23 2015

To Market, To Market – Georgian Style

By Dyana Neal | Posted in Host Blogs | 1 Comment

Last weekend, I joined some friends at the annual Mount Vernon Colonial Market and Fair. I’ve been having a great time attending historical reenactments, so pretty much any excuse to don my 18th century gown and pocket hoops will get me out of the house in a jiffy.

MtVernonMezzo

So, what might one find at an 18th century-style market and fair? Furniture, glassware, pottery, clothing, jewelry, tinware, handmade soap, and other items both decorative and practical. Whether customers were in search of tailor-made stays (that era’s term for a corset) to wear beneath a period gown or a tin lantern that would look equally at home in a historic or modern dwelling, this was the place to look.

Of course, one of my earliest stops was at a jewelry booth. I remembered both of these lovely ladies, proprietress Kimberly Walters and her assistant, Kerry McClure, from the event I attended at London Town in June.

GreyHorseladies

Kim’s shop is called K. Walters at the Sign of the Grey Horse. Not only does she make and carefully curate gorgeous 18th and 19th century-style jewelry, proceeds from the business help her care for rescued and adopted horses.

GHJewelryat MtV

There was lots of stunning antique reproduction furniture on offer. I was especially taken by the work at David S. Morris Cabinet Shop and Locust Farm Windsors. Here’s a chair from the former’s tent: DavidMorrisChair

And here I am trying out one of the eponymous Windsors in the latter’s tent. Comfortable as it is attractive, but would my iPad look silly on the writing arm?

18thCChairMezzo

There was all sorts of entertainment at the fair – everything from a Punch and Judy show to a miniature hot air balloon and, of course, period-appropriate music. Here are my friends in Ship’s Company doing what they do best – sea shanties!

ShipsCompanyperformingatMV

General Washington himself was in attendance, but alas, I didn’t get a chance to take his portrait.  He was quite busy delivering rousing speeches to the crowd, and I didn’t want to interrupt.

My last major stop of the day was at the Silly Sisters’ tent. They specialize in custom-made, 18th century reproduction ladies’ clothing, and the wait time for a gown or pair of stays is a year!

SillySistersdress

The fabulous gown above was too small for me, so it stayed on the mannequin. I did, however, have a fitting, so one day, I hope to own a Silly Sisters gown. I’m also planning to look into 18th century popular songs – perhaps there’s a colonial-rep recital in my future?

 

 

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Dyana Neal

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Dyana is WBJC’s midday host. Her full bio can be read here.

One Response to To Market, To Market – Georgian Style

  • Julia Sutherly says:

    Dear Dyana, with all due respect to the amazing seamstresses at The Silly Sisters, may I humbly suggest that you look into the fine offerings of Sycamore Spring Clothiers next time you are at the Mt. Vernon Colonial Fair? We also specialize in quality 18th century reproduction clothing, both custom and “off the rack,” and can create a lovely ensemble for you in a matter of weeks, not years. It would be a pleasure to meet you and to listen to your needs. You can see a sampling of our work on our Facebook page. Thanks!

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