Historic Wood Letter Opener
This custom hand-turned letter opener was created by Doug Dill, a master wood crafter in Lanexa, Virginia. Wood for the handle was sourced from the different trees, red oak circa 1798, white oak circa 1780, ash tree 1830, pecan tree circa 1850.
Currently available, white oak circa 1780, ash tree circa 1830, and pecan tree circa 1850. Letter openers from the red oak tree and swamp oak tree are completely sold out.
The swamp chestnut oak was planted on the green overlooking the Potomac no later than 1771. This tree could have predated Washington's inheritance of Mount Vernon. It was in serious decline for a number of years until one recent winter evening when it blew over. The wood was then saved for very special collector pieces like this letter opener.
The pecan tree stood next to the Mansion with branches soaring to 145 feet and posed a direct threat to the Mansion and the priceless objects contained therein. The approximately 50-ton tree was removed in January 2014 and the wood held in safekeeping on the Mount Vernon estate.
The white oak tree, dating to Washington’s time, fell on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, due to overly saturated grounds. The tree was located away from public access and had lived through the civil war.
The red oak tree once stood over the Slave Memorial at Mount Vernon. The Slave Memorial was designed by students attending the architectural school at Howard University. It was dedicated and opened to the public on September 21, 1983.
Each letter opener is unique. The solid wood portion of the letter opener handle is 2 ¼" long; the rhodium-plated blade is 4" long. The overall length is 7 ¼".