Mansion’s Spinet piano nominated one of “Top 10 Endangered Artifacts in Virginia”

Posted at 11:34 PM, Aug 10, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - The Virginia Association of Museums has announced a contest involving “Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts.”

From now until August 29, 2012, individuals around the Commonwealth will be able to vote online for a selection of various historic items in an effort to “create awareness of the importance of preserving artifacts in care at museums, libraries and archives throughout the commonwealth and in the District of Columbia.”

Among the top 10 artifacts nominated this year is the 1830s Spinet Piano owned by Governor James Barbour, displayed in the Ladies Parlor at the Virginia Governor's Mansion. 

Governor Barbour was the 18th governor of Virginia, but was the first of fifty-four governors to live in the Executive Mansion.  The Spinet Piano’s importance is understood as it is one of only three items at the Executive Mansion that previously belonged to a Virginia governor.

Unlike the table of the fist governor of Virginia, Patrick Henry , or, former Governor William Giles' desk , Executive mansion Director, Sarah Scarbrough says historians are certain the mahogany piano with brass embossed collars was actually in the executive mansion during Barbour’s tenure in the 1800’s.

Other items being considered for the endangered list include: a family bible circa 1798, he original manuscript for Virginia's Statute for Religious Freedom circa 1786, and a George Washington’s revolutionary war camp stool, circa 1776.

Despite this stiff, and historic, competition,  Scarborough thinks the piano will strike a chord with voters

“Historical governor, the first one to live here, the oldest mansion in the United States, and as we (the executive mansion) are approaching the 200 the year anniversary,” she said.

To see all the entires, go to this link:

And voting online is at: