Monday, February 22, 2016

Happy Birthday George Washington

Full George Washington Signature Display with Swatch of his Coat and His Hair
Happy birthday George Washington! Our Collector's Treasure of the Day is this framed 14.75 x 15.25 inch display featuring an autograph of George Washington, a square piece of Washington’s coat and a lock of approximately six strands of Washington’s hair. The items are attractively framed with an engraved metal plaque and a 4.5 x 6.5 inch reproduction of a Gilbert Stuart portrait of Washington. Washington’s signature is featured on a partial document which was originally part of a large March 17 1769 indenture between George Washington and Robert Thompson. The location of this signature has been identified on a lifesize color reproduction of the 21 x 17 inch original document from which the fragment was excised, which is included in this lot.

The display also features a piece of George Washington’s cloak from the family of his personal secretary Colonel Tobias Lear, who was also one of Washington’s best friends. It was purchased in a lot of other material sold at auction in February 5, 2010. Complete provenance is included. The lock of six strands of George Washington’s hair comes from from the Custis-Powell family. Librarians at Mount Vernon and at Woodlawn Plantation (both in Virginia) have commented that it was commonplace for Martha Custis Washington to give her husband’s hair as a gift both during his life and after his death. Colonel Levin Powell (1738-1810) was an intimate friend of Washington and a Revolutionary War hero. A certification of authenticity from noted American dealer and collector Charles Hamilton is included.

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