Bastille Key Paperweight
This finely crafted paperweight is a scaled reproduction of Mount Vernon's famous Key to the Bastille, the infamous prison in Paris overthrown at the beginning of the French Revolution. A symbol of freedom and liberty, the Key was sent in 1790 to George Washington by the Marquis de Lafayette, a leader of the French Revolution who had served under Washington during the American Revolutionary War a decade earlier.
The Key has remained at Mount Vernon for 200 years, prominently displayed in its original wood and glass case in the Mansion's central passage. In a letter that accompanied the key, Lafayette wrote with heartfelt emotion, "Give me leave, my dear General, to present you with the main key to the fortress of despotism. It is a tribute which I owe as a son to my adoptive father, as an aide de camp to my General, as a missionary of liberty to its patriarch." The original key was delivered to General Washington by Thomas Paine.
This replica cast iron key is approximately 7" long and weighs 1 pound. Great collectors' item for history lovers, decoration, or practical paperweight.