Sunday, August 14, 2011

John Paul Jones House

On Friday we visited the John Paul Jones House in Portsmouth. He lived here for 11 months while supervising the construction the America. (For those non-history buffs he is commonly known as the father of America's Navy.)

Now the reason I wanted to go here is well, it's a lovely old house, but I knew it held some treasures that I wanted to see.

It's a self-guided tour and you wander the main floor with its period wallpaper and furnishings among them this wonderful crewelwork chair.

It appears to be mostly chain stitch!

Upstairs there's a wonderful exhibit about the Peace Treaty that was negotiated and signed here in the Portsmouth area between Russia and Japan in 1905. 

In 1996 the Portsmouth Marine Society published a book, In Female Worth and Elegance, about the Portsmouth samplers and sampler teachers and stitchers. 

They have republished the book in softcover.  And even better many samplers have been donated to the museum and now they have a permanent exhibit. 

Here's some of what you can see:

This one is a favorite of mine as it has a family name on it. I've yet to make the genealogical connection, but someday!

Elizabeth Lake on this wonderful brown fabric has an interesting band up there above the house. I've never seen a band like this one (that I can remember.)

From the cover of the book. Two houses with a lovely floral bouquet between them.

Some imaginary castle? There was no house like this around these parts. What I really like are the two little floral motifs on either side. This was one very talented schoolgirl.

A close-up of a house and the pot of flowers.

This sampler was meticulously stitched. And it's in extremely good condition.

If you're ever in the area, it's worth a stop here to see these treasures.


jhm said...

The "imaginary castle" looks remarkablely like some of the "forts" built by the french that were used by the Americans in the Rev. Very similiar to one of the main buildings at Fort Niagra (sp?) and at Fort Tiacongra (sp??).

PS please forgive the spelling problems.

Ann said...

It's possible the chair seat was done in tambour work--it's done with a hook and makes a chain stitch on the surface of the fabric. i've seen pictures of the process, but have yet to see it actually done.

Donna said...

I believe Ann is right about the tambour work on the chair. I hadn't thought of that!Good catch.

And I agree that the "castle" looks a lot like a building at Ft Niagara. But I don't believe that there was a building like this in coastal NH.