Hillwood Estate Museum

Here we are at the letter H in Jenny’s Alphabe-Thursday weekly meme and I have so much to share from Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in Washington D.C. that I’m posting early.

Welcome to the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post – the legendary heiress, pioneering businesswoman, diplomat, philanthropist, and distinguished collector.

This is Marjorie and her daughter Dina Merrill. Dina was born to Mrs. Post and her 2nd husband Edward F. Hutton. Dina Merrill became a successful actress.

What drew me most to visit Hillwood was reading about Mrs. Post’s collection of Russian Imperial art which was her lifelong passion. Her third husband was United States Ambassador to Russia, Joseph E. Davies. Marjorie and the Ambassador lived in Russia in 1937 and 1938. She has one of the finest collections in the world. The largest portrait gracing the stairway is of Catherine the Great who reigned from 1762-1796.

Czar Alexander

Czar Nicholas II

A centuries-old Russian custom continues today as hosts welcome their guests with a loaf of bread on a round plate with a cellar of salt placed on top. Platters and cellars that were once used by nobility—some of which are currently on view at Hillwood—were often elaborately made of gilded silver and enamel.

Another symbol of Russia is the double-headed eagle inlaid in the center of this floor. This imperial coat of arms sets the tone for the imperial Russian glass and porcelain that fills the room.

Next time I’ll show the amazing collection of Icons and liturgical pieces from the Russian Orthodox church that Mrs. Post treasured. She also has some beautiful Faberge creations. She acquired these in the 1930’s. I’m so grateful to people like Mrs. Post who had the passion and resources to put such an extensive collection together and than to open up her home and collections to the public.

My post about the Gardens at Hillwood are here.

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