In 1760, George Washington recorded the receipt of an invoice dated December 26th, detailing his latest purchases from London. Therein he listed "A pair 3 dropt Garnet Earings" bought from a jeweler named J. Grymes to grace the ears of his wife, Martha. Martha Washington was no stranger to garnet jewelry, having received a necklace and hair ornament the year before. In the 18th century, "dropt" earrings referred to earrings with removable dangling pendants. Prized for their versatility and elegance, the earrings could be changed to accommodate the occasion for which they were worn.
My point in going was to measure the rest of the earring and pendant - above left - in which to reproduce it. It was absolutely amazing to hold the earrings that Martha Washington actually wore - and subsequent generations of owners until they ended up to be preserved for posterity. This was the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am very grateful to the Mount Vernon Ladies Association and Associate Curator, Amanda Isaac. Thank you!