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Home Improvements at Monticello

Kate Barlow

Going for a fresh, lighter look in your living room this season?

Historic cover on which the new reproduction covers are based.Surprisingly, Thomas Jefferson may have done something similar when he acquired lively floral printed cotton slipcovers for his twenty-five year old French armchairs. These oval-backed armchairs feature reproduction hand sewn covers patterned after rare original fragments that curators unearthed in our collection. The naturalistic bouquet, which includes lilies, roses, and blue bells, was a style popular in the early nineteenth-century in England, France, and the United States. Curators worked closely to commission an exacting reproduction, both in color and scale, of the original fragments. The fringe seen on the historic cover was omitted because it was not part of the original design. The chairs and the new slipcovers are now on view in the newly restored Private Suite.

The restored Library at Monticello showing a slipcover one of Jefferson's French armchairs


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