Martha Washington's Hair Comb

  • This hair comb was owned and worn by First Lady Martha Washington
  • To find such a personal object of Mrs. Washington's is quite extraordinary
  • The comb is the same type that would have been part of an elaborate headdress
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 30-8294

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This hair comb was worn by Martha Washington as part of an elaborate headdress. Although the inscription reads that it was worn by the first lady at the inauguration of her husband, with further historical research we now know that she did not attend Washington's inauguration. This fact, however, does nothing to dilute the importance of such an important and historical piece. Infused with the personality and glamour that surrounded the first lady, the comb evokes a very personal and treasured part of Mrs. Washington's boudoir. Records indicate that Mrs. Washington ordered two hair combs and other personal items from Robert Cary and Co. in January of 1758. This lovely comb was obviously a special and cherished personal item for the first lady, and would be an important acquisition for any serious collector of Washingtonia.

 Circa, 18th century

7 1/2" wide x 5" high

Provenance:
Excelsior Gallery Auction Scottsdale AZ, March 6, 1998
Claude Harkins

This comb has been displayed at the following museums:
Museum of Stonybrook, Stonybrook, New York. Traveling Exhibition "George Washington: American Symbol", 2/6/99- 5/31/99
Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, 6/11/99 -1/27/00
Museum of Our National Heritage, Lexington, Massachusetts, October '99 - February '00
James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania. "Picturing Washington Icons and Images of America's Founding Father", 9/25/99 -1/2/00
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum, West Branch, Iowa. "Revolutionary America! 1763-1789", 4/20/02 - 10/3/02
St. Bonaventure University, Olean, New York. "Glorious Lessons: The Idea of America", 9/24/04- 3/20/05
The Mahwah Museum, Mahwah, New Jersey. "March to Victory: In the American Revolution", 9/9/06 - 12/16/06
Herbert A. Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, Iowa. "American Mysteries, Riddles and Controversies ", 4/21/07 - 10/28/07
Midwest Genealogy Library, Independence, Missouri. "Roots of a Nation"- "The Harkins Collection", Summer '11
Martha Washington's Hair Comb
Period: 18th Century
Origin: America
Type: Americana
Depth: 2.13 Inches
Width: 7.5 Inches
Height: 5.0 Inches

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