In my second post about the trip to the Williamsburg, VA area, I wanted to focus on the beautiful woodwork and craftsmanship, and highlight some of my favorite images from the visit. I do a bit of woodworking myself, so I can appreciate the workmanship and skill of the people who did the work. Now, I realize that much of the woodwork, blacksmithing, and other crafts weren’t original, but it was still gorgeous!
The first example I wanted to share is a dovetail joint found in the magazine. I would guess this one was hand cut, but I think it is a beautiful bit of joinery. What do you think?
Guns lined the walls of the magazine on the upper floor. Some of the weapons were original to the period (not reproductions), and they still fired! Though not woodworking directly, they are impressive nonetheless.
I included a picture of swords, too, since they also show great craftsmanship. My favorite (being of Scot descent) was the Basket Cage Claymore! The Claymore is second from the left in the picture.
We visited the blacksmith’s shop and I came away with the impression that is was way too much work! Seriously, it was hot and brutally hard work, but necessary to produce the tools and implements used at the time.
The bellows for getting the fire burning hot enough for the work was an impressive device.
I loved the pegged mortise and tenon joinery in the blacksmith shop, too.
Jumping over to the Capitol building, most of which is reproduction work, I still got to see beautiful woodwork and craftsmanship. Take the judges panels and molding in the courtroom. Gorgeous!
The Governor’s Palace:
The last set of pictures I want to show are from the Governor’s Palace. This building, also a reproduction, is pretty amazing. It demonstrates the power and influence Colonial Williamsburg enjoyed for many years before the capitol moved to Richmond.
As if the entrance to the palace wasn’t impressive enough, the foyer emphasizes the importance and prestige of the Governor. Filled with weapons, the entry was meant to intimidate and remind visitors they were in the presence of the ultimate colonial power.
Quite an impressive display, don’t you think? In addition to the weaponry, the craftsmanship of the woodwork was amazing!
The photo above is a shot of some of the moldings found throughout the palace. Beautiful work!
Not only were the moldings and walls gorgeous, but the furniture was, too. Here are a few examples.
Of the three pieces shown above, the secretary is my favorite. Which is yours?
One last piece of molding to show, and I think it might just be my favorite of all. I usually go for a simpler design, but this one is stunning.
We also visited a silversmith and a book binder, but I didn’t take any pictures at either location. The silversmith, in particular, had some spectacular pieces on display.
I try to notice the details of the sights we visit, and I found many more at Colonial Williamsburg that I could show, but the post would take hours to read. I hope this small sampling will encourage you to visit the site or take a close look at the craftsmanship and skills of the people who started this country (or whatever country you like to visit)!
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