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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pictorial Tea Tour ................ GEORGE WASHINGTON (c.1757)

George Washington
The National Portrait Gallery, London

The National Portrait Gallery London was established as 'a gallery of original portraits, such portraits to consist as far as possible of those persons who are most honourably commemorated in British history as warriors or as statesmen, or in arts, in literature or in science', so I was rather surprised to see a portrait of our own George Washington there. Could I unearth a tea connection? Of course!

Just as the “immigrant” Catherine of Braganza brought her custom of tea drinking to England, so America’s immigrants from Britain, Holland and Portugal brought their customs and equipage with them when they set sail for America. As early as 1674, tea was already well-established as an everyday beverage for the wealthy. And as in England, tea was not just for ladies. In December 1757, George Washington ordered 6 teapots and 12 lbs. of tea from England. President and Mrs. Washington were ardent tea drinkers, and always served the best quality tea when entertaining.

(Purchase the George Washington print here)

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