Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Hillwood House

Another trip courtesy of Vantage House where I live.  It's nice to have someone else do the driving.

Hillwood was the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the heir to the Postum Company (think Post cereals like Grape Nuts) which later became General Foods (think Birds Eye frozen foods).

She lived from 1887-1973 and was among the wealthiest women of her time.  Besides having a hand in business she focused on collecting French and Russian art.  She was quite the philanthropist too with her support of the arts particularly in Washington, DC.  Here in Columbia where I reside we have the Merriweather Post Pavillon, a music venue, due to her generosity.

When she purchased Hillwood she renovated it with the thought it would be her residence and a museum for her art collection.  She lived here in Spring and Fall.  Winters were in Florida at Mar-A-Lago (now owned by someone infamous) and summers in the Adirondacks at Camp Topridge.

Take a tour with me of the inside of the home.  My photos don't do justice to its magnificence and I didn't capture everything.  If you are in Washington you'll have to make a point of visiting this splendid house.

Catherine the Great gets prime billing on the grand staircase.

Gorgeous pieces of French furniture abound.

Looking in either direction down the hall you see rooms set aside to display French (on one side) and Russian (on the other side) porcelain.  Many are complete settings.

The French drawing room has more display spaces

including this glass topped table with an assortment of small items.

The room was renovated to feature the tapestries and furnishings once belonging to Marie Antoinette.

A very special desk with 45 different drawers.

In the Russian porcelain room is this double headed eagle on the floor.

Another room features two Faberge eggs.

A Faberge clock.

The dining room was huge.

She was known for her entertaining.

We even got to see the kitchen.

Upstairs were more rooms to view but I skipped the bedroom having seen that before.

One room was set aside as a gallery to showcase more Russian art and treasures.

This gold chalice commissioned by Catherine the Great in memory of Grigory Potemkin, her favorite courtier.

And this nuptial crown worn by Alexandra in 1894 during her wedding to Nicholas II.
The room was very dark but I think you can tell how dazzling this was.

I took a walk in the gardens and will share those photos another day.