Thursday, June 25, 2015

'Dressing Downton' Exhibition - Part II

Audio headsets provided information for the self-guided tour of the mansion, where 47 costumes were displayed in 19 elegant Biltmore rooms. As mentioned, no photography was allowed. Below is an Internet photo in the Banquet Hall. On display is Lord Grantham's Officer's Uniform, and Lady Grantham's beaded tea gown and velvet jacket that were worn to the hospital's Charity Concert in Season 2. The photo provides an example of how the costume displays were incorporated into room settings.

Even though I saw a Downton Costume exhibit at Winterthur Museum in the fall of 2014, some of the costumes at Biltmore were different, as well as the way they were displayed.  I'm glad I had the opportunity to see both exhibitions.

The first floor tour goes through the Salon where Biltmore provides photograph opportunities, so Jerry and I had our picture taken.

Before touring the last wing of the mansion's first floor [the Tapestry Gallery and the Library], we walked out on the porch where photographs were allowed.

Guests must pass through the Tapestry Gallery to get to the Library.  The Vanderbilts used the Tapestry Gallery for Afternoon Tea, and two tea sets were set up in this room.

The Library is most impressive, and was George Vanderbilt's favorite room.  It contains 10,000 volumes from art to agriculture, and Mr. Vanderbilt personally chose each book for his library.  He was an avid reader and book lover from childhood, and began acquiring books when he was 11 years old.

The tour included all four floors of the mansion plus the basement.  Below is the exit from the mansion when the tour was finished.

From the mansion we went to the gift shop, which used to be the stables when the Vanderbilts resided there.

~ Dress Violet Crawley wore Season 1 ~

~ There were so many fun things to look at in the gift shop ~

I had to take a picture of the Sanders candy, because it's made in Michigan not far from where I live.

You're probably wondering what I purchased, aren't you? ;-)  A Biltmore commemorative book, and a package of Earl Grey tea especially blended for Biltmore Estate by Oliver Pluff and Company in Charleston, S.C.

~ Exhibition Costume Book ~

~ Cookbook ~

And last but not least, a sugar and creamer adapted from the Vanderbilt's tea service.

I already had a trio and the teapot, so I was happy to complete the set.

To be continued...


  1. Love the elegant tea service set you are acquiring!

  2. So happy you found the sugar and creamer to complete your set! What a nice rememberance of your trip!


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