GEORGE WASHINGTON’S STRAND OF HAIR WITH PROVENANCE.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011 2:10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
Auction #203 - Part I
Item numbers 1 through 1428 in auction 203
A short silvery-gray strand of hair .5" long is placed diagonally against a black background under a clear sheet of acetate held in an ornate metal frame 1.25" wide and 1.75" tall placed at the upper left of 8x20" display area which is double matted under glass in an ornate high quality custom frame. A square paper below the framed hair strand reads “I Louis Mushrow Lifetime Member Of The Manuscript Society Have Removed The Above Hair From The Below Certified Lot” followed by his signature in ink. Below this is a copy of the original provenance, handwritten and then repeated in typeface which reads “Lock of hair from the head of Gen. George Washington, enclosed in an envelope on which is written ‘Lock of hair of Genl. George Washington. Given to Col. Powel by Mrs. Powel who had it from Mrs. Custis. L. Powel.’" Below this is copy of signed statement by famous handwriting and autograph expert Charles Hamilton. Hamilton certifies the handwritten statement as an exact copy of the original written about 1845 and from the Custis-Powell family, who owned the lock of hair. Hamilton’s second paragraph states the first owner of the lock of hair was probably Eleanor Parke Custis, the granddaughter of Martha Washington by her first marriage. Eleanor was adopted by George Washington and raised at Mt. Vernon. The hair lock then passed through the families as per the c. 1845 statement. Heritage Auctions recently sold four hair strands from the same hair lock with the same copies of the Mrs. Custis L. Powell and Charles Hamilton Provenance for $1,434.00. While the hair strand is small, the black background makes it clearly visible. Certainly a remarkable artifact and conversation piece. Comes with provenance as described as well as Hake’s COA.
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