Last year’s post on First Lady Pearls was such a success, I thought I’d post a Part 'Deux' of First Ladies in their Pearls.
This year, I'd like to focus on our very first First Ladies and their lovely jewels. Portraits courtesy of C-Span; they did an absolutely fascinating retrospective of each First Lady's life from Martha Washington to Michele Obama, which you should definitely check out when you have time.
Below is a portrait of Martha Washington in her younger years. Honestly. I had no idea how beautiful she was! Just stunning. Apparently, Martha Washington didn't wear a lot of fine, genuine jewelry, preferring instead faux pearls and gems that were not that costly. I chalk that up to being a war-time wife, which can be hard on a jewelry box (and subsequent taste!). The pearl earrings in the picture are now displayed in a museum, but were very typical of Mrs. Washington's style at the time.
This portrait of Dolley Madison is fantastic; the artist did a beautiful job of capturing her pearls and the way light reflected off of them and giving them a sense of depth. Unlike her predecessor, Mrs. Madison chose much higher caliber, finer jewels (such as a large strand of natural pearls shown in her portrait!).
CORRECTION: A reader has drawn my attention to the fact that the First Lady below is actually Caroline Harrison, the wife of President Benjamin Harrison 1889-1892. Please excuse the error (I often write blog posts later in the evening, so I might have been off my game haha!), and thank you to Antonia M. for reaching out to me to rectify it! Dolley Madison's portrait is below Caroline's (and you see it and think: Boy, was Ashley WRONG! Haha).
And one more, for good measure:
I am in love with this portrait of Edith Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt's wife. She jjust looks incredibly the part of Teddy's First Lady, doesn't she? Definitely some real panache and a sense of dramatic flair shows in her choice of wardrobe for her sitting, and the tiny seed pearl choker is perfection!
Helen Taft is another First Lady with a wonderful sense of style and glamour. In my opinion, she's definitely one of the prettiest First Ladies we've ever had! This portrait is done in a realistic style but doesn't really show all the details on her jewelry and clothing, which is too bad - that pearl choker looks incredible.
That's it for this year. I have more First Lady Pearls pictures saved for next year, so stay tuned and until then, Happy President's Day!