f r i e n d s of d r a y t o n h a l l
INTERIORS s p e c i a l c o l l e c t o r’s e d i t i o n summer 2014
DIR EC TOR’ S NOTE S
The mission of Drayton Hall, a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is to preserve and interpret Drayton Hall and its environs, in order to educate and inspire people to embrace historic preservation.
George W. M Daniel, Ph.D. c
For years, Drayton Hall’s fame has rested on its reputation as an unrestored Palladian masterpiece in near-original condition. People from all over the world come to the site to see this rare form of preserved architecture that dates to the 1740s. What people don’t see on their visit to Drayton Hall are the wonderful artifacts, furniture, fine arts, and decorative objects that belong to our collections. These pieces have been excavated, acquired, or given to Drayton Hall over the past few decades. Because they are stored on site in a climate-controlled building not accessible to the public, they have been unseen for years. As you are well aware, because the main house has never been modernized with heating and air conditioning systems, our collections cannot be displayed there. A few years ago, curators from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation began research for a new exhibit on the material culture and decorative arts of the colonial South. Upon visiting Drayton Hall, they were amazed by our treasures and chose 27 objects that illustrate the colonial world of Charleston and the Lowcountry. According to the Williamsburg curators and other professionals, Drayton Hall is in possession of some of the finest examples of colonial furniture and decorative objects. From our rare Chinese export porcelain to the Lenhardt Collection of George Edwards watercolors, we are in the beginning stages of imagining a new home for our astounding collection in a future interpretive center, so these pieces can not only come back home to Drayton Hall, but be used to interpret the invaluable stories of the house and the people who once occupied this site. From John Drayton writing a letter to his son at his desk and bookcase, to a fragment of Colonoware formed by the hands of an enslaved person, these pieces all help tell the larger story of what life was like at Drayton Hall in the 18th century.
DRAYTON HALL SITE COUNCIL Stephen F. Gates, chairman Richard Almeida, Catherine Brown Braxton, Lonnie Bunch, Matthew CochraneLogan, Edward Crawford, Jane deButts (emeritus), P. Steven Dopp, Chad Drayton, Charles H. Drayton (emeritus), Frank B. Drayton, Eric Emerson, Carl I. Gable, Phil Gaines (designee for Duane Parrish), Marilynn Hill, Kristopher B. King, Douglas Lee, Benjamin Lenhardt, Fulton Lewis, Deborah Mack (designee for Lonnie Bunch), Peter McGee (emeritus), Joseph McGill (honorary), Hampton Morris, Monty Osteen, Jr., Duane Parrish, Suzanne Pollak, Michael Prevost, Anthony C. Wood (emeritus), Connie Wyrick (emeritus)
George W. McDaniel, Ph. D.
Carter C. Hudgins, Ph.D.
INTERIORS STAFF Kristine Morris, editor Natalie Titcomb, graphic designer Robert A. Johnson, volunteer proofreader Design services provided by Josh Korwin of Three Steps Ahead
“Members of the Drayton family join Drayton Hall staff and supporters in recognizing an urgent need for a modern, state-of-the-art Interpretive Center in which artifacts can be properly stored, studied, and displayed.” — A N N E D R AY T O N N E L S O N Eighth-generation descendant of the Drayton family
E X H I BI TI NG TH E CON TE N T S OF JOH N DR AY TON ’ S 18 TH -CE N T U RY PA L ACE Rare objects help to solidify Drayton Hall’s status as one of America’s most important elite plantations surviving from the first half of the 18th century. By Carter C. Hudgins, Ph.D., Deputy DIRECTOR Shortly after 37-year-old widower John Drayton took up residence at Drayton Hall with sons William Henry and Charles, his newly constructed home seat was referenced in the South Carolina Gazette as nothing less than a “Palace and Gardens.” Thanks to research conducted by a multitude of scholars over the last 40 years, we now understand Drayton’s palace as the first fully executed example of Palladian architecture in North America and that his gardens were composed of idealized English landscapes reminiscent of contemporary grounds created in England by designers such as Capability Brown. Despite this growing body of knowledge, the current unfurnished nature of the main house has led to questions regarding the 18th-century contents of Drayton’s palace. How was it furnished? What hung on the walls? Were the majority of goods imported or produced locally? What did the enslaved people cook with? Helping to answer these and many other questions are more than 550 objects
and 17 linear feet of manuscripts that have been donated by the Drayton family over the last 40 years, and more than one million artifacts that have been recovered in archaeological excavations. Drayton Hall’s preservation department, established in 2006, is charged with curating these materials, and the research conducted in recent years has shed significant new light on the overall composition of Drayton Hall and the extraordinary material world that John Drayton created for his family. In the process, a series of partnerships have been formed with individuals and institutions that stand to further our understanding of what may be the most important elite plantation in America to survive from the first half of the 18th century. One of the most significant partnerships to date was established between Drayton Hall and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in the summer of 2009. Since this date, a total of twenty-seven objects from our collections have been loaned,
Early/Middle Woodland pottery from the Drayton Hall Archaeological Collection
left to right: Drayton Hall’s Dr. Carter C. Hudgins, Deputy Director;
3,200–2,390 years ago Native American occupation of the Drayton Hall property during the Early Woodland period
Sarah Stroud Clarke, Archaeologist & Curator of Collections; Trish Smith,
Curator of Historic Architectural Resources
2,390–1,425 years ago Native American occupation of the Drayton Hall property during the Middle Woodland period The Island of Barbadoes:
“The exhibition uses objects to look at the people of the past, so ownership
Divided into its Parishes,
history was critical. That is what makes the Drayton Hall materials
by Hermann Moll, 1736.
so important. In every case, we have a solid idea about the identities
from England via Barbados
and social standing of the people who interacted with the objects. For
According to oral history,
The Drayton family came in the late 17th century.
instance, John Drayton could have easily commissioned a desk and
the ancestors of another
bookcase from a Charleston shop, but having a piece of English make
as slaves with the Draytons.
family, the Bowens, arrived
or ordering from abroad. That sheds a great deal of light on elite Lowcountry culture in the middle of the eighteenth century.” — RONALD L. HURST Vice President for Collections, Conservation, and Museums, Carlisle H. Humelsine Chief Curator, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
was important enough to warrant the added expense and inconvenience 1670 s The Drayton family arrived in colonial South Carolina from Barbados.
1670 The Carolina colony was founded and governed by the Lords Proprieters.
1677, jan. 30 conserved, and displayed as part of a new exhibit entitled A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South. Launched to the visiting public in February of 2014, the exhibit showcases objects created, imported, and used in the American South prior to 1840. Such an opportunity, made possible by Carolyn and Michael McNamara, has allowed Drayton Hall’s objects to take the stage alongside treasures from private collections and other leading institutions, including Colonial Williamsburg, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (mesda), The Charleston Museum, The Winterthur Museum, Washington and Lee University, and Historic Charleston Foundation.
1680, march 8 The property was sold to Barbadian merchant Joseph Harbin (d. 1692).
1679, august 9
Drayton Hall is honored to be included in Williamsburg’s new exhibit. Many of our objects are on public display for the first time, and such an occurrence is representative of a cultural shift underway at Drayton Hall. Research initiatives are expanding beyond the house and landscapes to improve our understanding of Drayton Hall’s overall composition in the 18th century. Serving as a springboard of research and public awareness, Drayton Hall’s partnership with Colonial Williamsburg will continue to foster investigations of Drayton Hall and fuel an awareness of how John Drayton outfitted his “palace” with the most elaborate and fashionable goods available in the British Empire.
Nicholas Carteret was issued the first formal grant for the property that would become Drayton Hall.
Edward Mayo acquired the property that would become Drayton Hall.
John Drayton’s handwritten arithmetic book, signed and dated 1733. Drayton Family Paper Collection, Drayton Hall/NTHP, College of Charleston Special Collections, Charleston, SC.
1718, june 17
John Drayton, builder of Drayton Hall, was born.
Grant for the Drayton Hall property was issued to Francis Younge, South Carolina’s Surveyor General (1716–1719) and Colonial Agent (1721–1733), who owned it from 1718 until 1734 when he sold the property to Jordan Roche.
Archaeologist and Curator of Collections Sarah Stroud Clarke points to the pre-Drayton Foundation.
Porcelain chocolate cups from China are imported to South Carolina through England and used by Francis Younge.
Detail of Massacre …
c. 1836, Library of Congress
porcelain chocolate cups
A bloody conflict between Native Americans
A pair of Chinese-export porcelain chocolate cups from the first quarter of the
and British settlers of colonial South Carolina.
eighteenth century was found in 1981 in an archaeological feature that pre-dates the construction of Drayton Hall. Drinking chocolate was made fashionable in London during the late seventeenth century by Sir Hans Sloane who added milk and sugar to chocolate in order to make it more appetizing. Drayton Hall is fortunate to have such a beautiful example of early chocolate cups in our collection as they exhibit the close ties to fashionable English taste in an evolving frontier society.
1738, march 2 John Drayton purchased 350 acres on the banks of the Ashley River and begins construction of Drayton Hall. Stono Rebellion—Horrid Massacre … 1831, Library of Congress
“Drayton Hall provides one of the earliest and most sophisticated examples of a house in which the original extant furniture and the architectural features of the building were designed as a whole.”
1739, september 9–16 Stono Rebellion The largest slave uprising in the British mainland colonies.
— R A L P H H A R VA R D Interior Designer, Architectural Historian and Preservationist, Vice President of the Decorative Arts Trust
Architectural drawing developed
architectural drawing This invaluable manuscript is a surviving elevation drawing that was recently gifted to Drayton Hall from the Historic Charleston Foundation. This document may have been created by Drayton’s own hand as part of the initial design or later plans to expand his architectural masterpiece as indicated by the extensive flanking buildings to the north and south that were never realized. This drawing complements the pattern books in Drayton’s library to illustrate how a knowledge of classical architecture was combined with contemporary design templates in an effort to emulate leading British taste and create a unique colonial home seat, which once served as a powerful mechanism used to broadcast his elite status in colonial Carolina.
tiles A sample of surviving original architectural items on loan to Colonial Williamsburg include four English tin-glazed earthenware tiles with biblical motifs that were once used to protect and ornament one of Drayton Hall’s thirteen fireboxes prior to their removal in the 20th century. A total of 48 intact tiles from this set survive in Drayton Hall’s museum collection and dozens of additional tiles with a variety of
decorations have been recovered through archaeology.
Tin-glazed earthenware tiles manufactured in London are imported to Drayton Hall for use in fireboxes.
Carribbean mahogany imported to South Carolina is carved into stair brackets used to ornament Drayton Hall’s stair hall.
colonoware This small-handled colonoware jug represents both the diversity of Drayton Hall’s collections and the lives of the enslaved people who lived and worked at Drayton Hall during the 18th century. Colonoware is a low-fired earthenware ceramic that was formed from local clays by slaves. Seven overflowing
Colonoware cooking pot created by enslaved people and used at Drayton Hall.
boxes of Colonoware sherds have been archaeologically excavated from Drayton Hall since 1981, and the recovered vessels illustrate how the enslaved people combined African, Native American, and European vessel forms and decorative techniques to create a unique form of pottery in the new world.
columns Several objects linked to Drayton Hall’s architecture have been loaned to Colonial Williamsburg for the new exhibit, including an original 1740s column base from the first floor of Drayton Hall’s double portico that was removed, along with associated columns and capitals, during a repair campaign carried out by Charles Drayton in the 1810s. Drayton Hall’s portico, while visually similar to Palladio’s Villa Cornaro
1740–1750 Porcelain plates created in Jingdezhen, China, and received by the Drayton family for use in Drayton Hall. In 2008 and 2009, four porcelain plates were donated to Drayton Hall by Anne Drayton Nelson and Molly Drayton Osteen. This porcelain plate is decorated with opaque enamels using the Famille Rose decorative technique; part of a 12-piece set that descended within the Drayton family from the 18th century.
and Villa Pisani, differs as it projects and recedes from the main house, making it the first of its kind in the world. Created from Purbeck limestone imported from England, Drayton Hall’s portico and this column base represent how no expense was spared to create a structure that was extremely progressive for its period yet in keeping with the classical architectural vocabulary popularized by Andrea Palladio.
Drayton received imported Purbeck limestone columns for incorporation in the portico of Drayton Hall.
watercolor Drayton Hall S.C. by Pierre-Eugène Du Simetière (1736-1784). Dated “1765” on reverse. Private collection of J. Lockard. The watercolor depicts the original design and stair bracket
18 th-century appearance of Drayton Hall,
An important architectural element placed on loan
North America’s earliest example of fully
for the new exhibit is a stair bracket from Drayton
executed Palladian architecture.
Hall’s stair hall. Carved from imported Caribbean
mahogany, this bracket exhibits a degree of
Drayton Hall, the house, is completed.
craftsmanship above and beyond what was typical in the American colonies and was more in keeping with examples created in the UK, signifying the
role that experienced British craftsmen played in
An example of Drayton seating furniture in
the construction of Drayton Hall.
our collection and featured in the new exhibit is a carved mahogany chair that originated from an English or Scottish workshop in the 1740s or early 1750s. Significantly, the 1820 probate inventory of Charles Drayton includes a reference to three groups of chairs totaling 52 in number. The chair that survives within Drayton Hall’s collection, scored with Roman
Carved mahogany side chair purchased by John Drayton. In 2009, Charles H. Drayton, III facilitated the donation of the chair to Drayton Hall.
numeral I on the inside of its back seat rail, is likely from one of these assemblages, and three matching examples have been located at the Henry Ford Museum, Middleton Place, and Historic Charleston Foundation.
“The desk and bookcase just gleamed and was proof that Drayton Hall was at the top of the charts in terms of sophisticated decorative arts. It will be wonderful to have these objects back at Drayton Hall after the exhibit ends so that Lowcountry residents and visitors can see these beautiful 18th-century artifacts.”
John Drayton’s Desk and Bookcase fabricated in England and transported to Drayton Hall. Gift of Mr. Charles H. Drayton, III and Mrs. Martha Drayton Mood.
Drayton Hall Site Council
desk and bookcase The crown jewel of Drayton Hall’s museum collection is John Drayton’s desk and bookcase. Produced in England during the second quarter of the 18th century, it was loaned to Colonial Williamsburg for inclusion in the new exhibit. An incredible amount of conservation was carried out by Williamsburg conservators between 2009–2013 to stabilize the object and restore the visual intent of its maker, who still remains a mystery. This extraordinary object was created from woods gathered from every continent with the exception of Antarctica, fitted with elaborate gilt hardware, and ornamented with delicate wooden and tortoise shell inlay. The ornate prospect found in the desk is mirrored on all sides with the exception of the parquet floor, and an amazing total of 13 secret compartments have been identified along with evidence of an original beveled mirror that once fronted the bookcase. Such an object, complete with its Palladian architectural influences, complements the design of Drayton Hall and emphasizes John Drayton’s attention to contemporary English fashion and access to international supply networks.
wax seal Wax impression and signature of John Drayton. Impressed on marriage agreement with Margaret Glen and her brother Royal Governor James Glen. Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina.
telescope As exemplified by specialized lenses, this was used to witness the Transit of Venus on June
1752, february 25
6, 1761, one of the most eagerly anticipated
John Drayton married his third wife, Margaret Glen
celestial events of the colonial period.
miniature portrait of charles (left), print of william henry (opposite page, lower left) John Drayton sent his sons to Westminster school in London, a traditional boarding school where the classics were emphasized. Dancing, fencing, and music lessons balanced academic training that focused on Greek and Latin, rhetoric and logic. Their later educations took place at Oxford and Edinburgh.
1753, april 5
Brass reflecting telescope fabricated in London, England, and purchased by John Drayton soon after. Mr. and Mrs. Frank B. Drayton Collection.
John’s sons William Henry Drayton (d. 1779) and Charles Drayton (d. 1820) departed South Carolina for England.
brand Central to the operation of Drayton’s commercial empire was slave labor, and a particularly powerful artifact representing the conditions faced by enslaved workers and featured in the new exhibit is a brand bearing the mark of the Drayton surname preceded by the letter I from the classical Roman alphabet that did not contain the letter J. Analysis of the brand has identified that the die face is composed of silver, and concurrent research has determined that silver brands were commonly used to mark enslaved people in the Caribbean. One of several contemporary references to this practice comes from Bryan Edwards who noted in 1794 that
1740–1770 Silver brand created in either England or America and used by John Drayton to mark enslaved people. Silver brand was donated to Drayton Hall by Charles H. Drayton, III in 2000.
“it is custom among some of the planters in Jamaica, to mark the initials of their names on the shoulder or breast or each newly-purchased Negro by means of a small silver brand heated in the flame of spirits.” Given the fact that the Drayton brand is composed of silver and that silver brands appear to have been used in the 18th century to brand enslaved people, it is highly likely that the object was employed to mark people of African and Native American ancestry owned by John Drayton. How often this brand was employed is currently unknown, as are details pertaining to who may have been branded. The brand could have strictly been used for punishment or for marking a particular class of enslaved people such as those that routinely carried out tasks away from Drayton owned plantations.
“That John Drayton purchased a telescope to observe the Transit of Venus reveals his interest in science and connects him to an impressive group of intellectuals, including Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.”
flintlock mechanism from rifle Recovered from the front lawn of Drayton Hall in 2003, this artifact could have been deposited by one of the many soldiers who occupied Drayton Hall during the revolution. The Hammer of the flintlock held a piece of flint which, when released by the trigger, would spark and ignite gunpowder held in the pan below.
—MARGARET PRITCHARD Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Curator of Maps, Prints, and Wallpaper
bronze side plate from rifle This was used to secure the flintlock mechanism to the gun stock. Stamped with the initials “H.G.”
buckshot and musket ball (below) Sample assemblage of lead buckshot and musket ball recovered
1765–1783 The American Revolution
from south flanker well. Soldiers in the American Revolution commonly combined small shot with a musket ball in their rifles to create the devastating impact of a full-size ball with the spreading pattern of a shotgun when fired.
william henry drayton (1742-1779) All of John Drayton’s sons would support the American cause in the Revolution against Britain, but none contributed as much as William Henry, John’s oldest son by his second wife Charlotta Bull. William Henry was appointed to the South Carolina provincial congress, served as its president, issued the state’s first order to fire on the British, oversaw the formation of South Carolina’s first constitution, served as South Carolina’s First Chief Justice, designed half of the state seal, and played a role in national politics when he was appointed to be a member of the 2nd Continental Congress where he served until his death in 1779.
“We are dealing with one of the most remarkable survivals of 18th-century furniture associated with a known 18th-century house anywhere.”
1779 John Drayton died at Strawberry Ferry In anticipation of the British army’s arrival at Drayton Hall, John and his family fled; while crossing the Cooper River at Strawberry
— T O M S AVA G E Director of Museum Affairs, Winterthur Museum
Ferry, John suffered a seizure, died, and was buried in an unmarked grave.
Porcelain garniture set created in Jingdezhen, China, and purchased by Charles Drayton for use in Drayton Hall. In 2007, the set was donated to Drayton Hall by Charles H. Drayton, III.
Charles Drayton, diary entry, January 15, 1784, Drayton Family Paper Collection, Drayton Hall/NTHP, College of Charleston Special Collections, Charleston, SC.
1784, january 15 Charles Drayton and family began their residence at Drayton Hall
ceramics Additional 18th-century items placed on loan to Colonial Williamsburg include a host of ceramics that have both been recovered archaeologically and donated by Drayton family members. These objects help to illustrate the richness of Drayton Hall’s interiors and John Drayton’s access to goods from around the world. Within Drayton Hall’s archaeological collection, porcelains are some of the most commonly identified artifacts. Chinese, Japanese, and even locally produced Bartlam porcelains are present, and nearly all can be associated with the occupation periods of John Drayton and his son Charles. Sherds from several dozen vessels including plates, cups, bowls, teapots, sauce boats, and multiple garniture sets have been recovered, including four teabowls and saucers with overglaze decoration depicting a pair of cranes and mosquitoes.
Chinese-export porcelain tea service purchased by Charles Drayton in the late 18th century and donated to Drayton Hall in 2007 by Charles H. Drayton, III. Archaeological excavations since 1975 have recovered hundreds of other porcelain objects.
Two examples from this service, probably owned by John Drayton, are featured in the new exhibit along with one of 12 Famille Rose plates found in our museum collection and within private collections. Additional porcelain examples on display in the new exhibit were probably purchased by Charles Drayton. These include a three-piece garniture set (above, left) as well as components of a blue and white porcelain tea service with delicate gilt overglaze decoration (below, left). Collectively, these objects signify the enthusiasm that the Draytons had for fashionable Asian export luxury goods.
“Drayton Hall’s linen press, attributed to the shop of Jacob Sass (1750– 1836), exemplifies the acculturation of Charleston’s German School of cabinetmakers in the final decades of the eighteenth century.” —GARY ALBERT
Editorial Director, Editor of the MESDA Journal, Old Salem Museums & Gardens clothespress A second example of case furniture that has been loaned to Williamsburg for inclusion in the new exhibit is a clothespress. Fabricated in Charleston by Jacob Sass between 1785 and 1790, this clothespress was likely purchased by Charles Drayton shortly after his move to Drayton Hall in 1784, and demonstrates diverse sources of inspiration that influenced the stylistic development of Charleston’s furniture producers. Throughout conservation, veneers were reattached, reproductions of the original drawer pulls replaced the knobs that were attached in the late 19th century, the foot blocks were stabilized and a significant degree of surface cleaning removed dirt and grime to reestablish the contrast between light wood stringers and cypress paneling. The end result is a stunning example of Charleston case furniture, and evidence of how the Drayton family followed the contemporary fashions flowing from Charleston that were put forth by a range of continental artisans.
1785–1790 Clothespress manufactured in Charleston by Jacob Sass for Charles Drayton. Donated to Drayton Hall in 1998 by Mr. Charles H. Drayton, III and Mrs. Martha Drayton Mood.
1802 Charles Drayton made the first major changes to the main house. 1820, august 11 Charles Drayton (1743–1820) died. Drayton Hall ownership goes to Charles Drayton, Jr. (1785–1844)
withdrawing room This 3D rendering of Drayton Hall’s withdrawing room by Trish Smith, curator of historic architectural resources, depicts the original Georgian mantel. Charles replaced three Georgian mantels with Federal-style mantels in the withdrawing room, the library, and the dining room on the first floor. Smith’s 3D modelling allows clues identified through architectural research to be virtually reconstructed.
Dr. Charles Drayton, 1818 By Charles Fraser (American, 1782–1860) Watercolor on ivory © Image courtesy of the Gibbes Museum of Art
Total Recovered Fiber All Post-Consumer Fiber
Drayton Hall Distinguished Speakers Series Thursday, September 18th at 7:00pm Don’t miss Ron Hurst, Vice President for Collections, Conservation and Museums, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, when he discusses A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South. Hailed as groundbreaking, it covers the 17th century through 1840 with a spectacular variety of media from four geographic regions of the South. www.draytonhalldistinguishedspeakers.org
To purchase tickets to the Colonial Williamsburg Exhibit featuring 27 objects from Drayton Hall’s collections, visit:
A celebratory dinner in the historic Wren Building on the campus of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA. Drayton Hall wishes to thank Cindy and Ben Lenhardt (above) for their planning, design, and generous sponsorship of the elegant dinner to celebrate the opening
of the exhibit. The event took place in the Great Hall of the Sir Christopher
Wren Building, circa 1695, the oldest academic building in the United States.
P os t- cons e rvati on p hotos co u rt e sy o f t h e C o l o n i a l Wi l l i a m sbu r g F o u n dat i o n .
Published on Jul 1, 2014