Featured Object

In each issue, the bimonthly DAR magazine, American Spirit, highlights an object from the DAR Museum collection in its "National Treasures" feature. These objects, often recent accessions or important pieces in the current exhibit, always have a story to tell about American history.

National Treasures

Seated in Revolution

Owned by Thomas McKean, a Delaware signer of the Declaration of Independence, this distinctive sofa was made in Philadelphia between 1770 and 1790.

Sofas were expensive and rare items even among wealthy families of the 18th century. The peaks flanking the back of the sofa’s central arch or serpentine are rare decorative options; in fact, only eight other examples are known to exist. The wool upholstery was fashionable, more durable and less costly than silk. Whatever the fabric, upholstery was an expensive purchase, costing between 10 and 20 pounds—almost as much as a yearly salary for most people. (The upholstery shown here is not original, but the fabric is an accurate re-creation.)

The sofa, listed in McKean’s 1817 estate inventory, was a gift of the Mary Washington Chapter, Washington, D.C.

American Spirit, Volume 142, Number 4, July/August 2008, Page 6
Photo by Mark Gulezian/Quicksilver

More National Treasures

Sitting Pretty

To the Rescue

Strange Brew

Tayloe Family Ties

Ornamental Trio

Reviving the Stone

A Record to Remember

Strong Set

Fashion Flashback

Let's Go Ride a Bike


Isn't It Romantic

A Rockin' Good Toy

The Mystery of Mother and Child

Keep Cool

Dress for the Ages

Historical Register

Banjo Time

Getting Warmer

Virginia Map Quest

Serve It Up

Greatest Toy on Earth

Dress for the Day

Boston Uncommon

A Teapot to Revere

Seats of Honor

Birthday Threads


Play On

Top Drawer

Burning Bright

Something to Crow About

Sister Stitch

Tea Time

Capturing Cherubs

A Link to the Past

Brushes with Fame

Something Borrowed

Supper Is Served

Stately Seats

Heirloom High Chest

Making Beautiful Music

Forged From Fire

For Madame's Trousseau

Let It Out

Heavenly Harmonies

Priceless Pooch

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