Thursday, January 2, 2014

Precision Details, Inside and Out, at the First Oval Office at Colonial Williamsburg

After Christmas, we went to Colonial Williamsburg for a visit for a few days. While there we had an opportunity to visit the First Oval Office one more time!  I thought our last visit had been about six weeks before, when it was on grand display during the grand opening of the Armoury Complex. However that version of General Washington's marquee tent was the prototype. After that weekend, the tailors set to work on the actual marquee tent reproduction, set to be completed New Year's Eve.  Our visit was Friday, December 27, where the tent was again on partial display, basically to test placement for stitches and such on the walls.

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Outside details...

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...compared to the inside. I love seeing the light and shadow of the craftsmanship from the inside.

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Outside rope detail...

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...contrasted to how it's secured from the inside...

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Example of how the wall is hung by hooks...

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After a great chat with a couple of the tailors, we went inside to see the work on one of the walls that we had seen hanging from the tent when we first arrived.  It is so huge it is laid flat on the floor while the tailors prepare the next step for sewing. In the back corner is an example of the bed General Washington might have slept in, in the marquee tent.

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Tools of the trade...

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The wall laid out...

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When we left, the walls had indeed come down...

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Late that afternoon, we had been walking by when we noticed the tent being taken down.  This looked interesting! My son especially wanted to watch the entire process.

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And thus ended our opportunity to watch the making of this grant tent, reproduced in precision detail from General Washington's original tent.  The project indeed culminated on New Year's Eve, and was on grand display in its entirety on New Year's Day.  Furniture is currently being reproduced from originals for the tent.  This was a commissioned project with The Museum of the American Revolution, set to open in a few years.  However we still get to follow the project as a whole, as the other parts are completed, and displayed at various events. Details can be followed through the museum blog and the First Oval Office facebook page!







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