housed with a leaf in a mold-blown bottle, 6.5" high, with a partially covered name in relief on glass, EQUERU. Bottle covered by layers of cotton and linen, includes a manuscript label on the bottle that states Lemon from a tree planted by George Washington and picked by his old gardener at Mt. Vernon, May-1842.
Washington was an avid farmer and gardener who planted a variety of flowers and trees at his Mount Vernon estate, among them a lemon tree. During the early 19th century, visitors were often known to take souvenirs from Mount Vernon, including lemons. According to some descriptions written by 19th century visitors, an old gardener would recount his experiences working with Washington and would sell them items from the garden for a small fee. It is possible that the gardener who picked this lemon was an enslaved African American named Phil Smith who was never owned by Washington himself, but belonged to a later generation of Washingtons living at Mount Vernon. (Mary V. Thompson, Research Historian, Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, Personal Communication, October 13, 2008.)
A fine Washington curiosity.
Condition: Desiccated (dry) with green peel still evident.