Jefferson noted “Plane-tree” (or Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis) in a list of ornamental plants in his only published book, Notes on the State of Virginia. In 1812 he sowed Plane-tree seeds in his nursery, eventually intended for the Monticello landscape.
Jefferson’s observations likely informed the Garden Club of Virginia’s decision to plant the American Sycamore next to the South Terrace when they restored the Monticello Flower Gardens in 1939-41, and a young sapling was planted on the West Lawn close to the South Wing’s stone retaining wall. The roots of this cherished source of shade eventually burrowed under the 1802 Jefferson-era wall, threatening it with collapse. To ensure the preservation and restoration of Monticello’s original South Wing the sycamore was removed in the summer of 2017.
Wood from this tree has been used to create this beautiful bowl. Signed dated and numbered by the artist, Dennis Hippen. 2 ½"h x 5 ¼" diameter.