Lot 408

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An excessively rare and important association item, a small lock of George Washington's hair clipped as Washington lay on his deathbed and sent to Alexander Hamilton. His friend and the first Secretary of the Treasury. This lock, approximately six strands, was part of a larger lock which was affixed with string and red wax to a mount with an autograph letter of provenance signed by Alice War Harrison, the daughter of Alice D. Ward Harrison to whom the lock was originally presented. Beneath the original lock Mrs. Harrison had written: "The above Lock of Washington's Hair presented to Alice D. Ward Harrison by James Harrison, son of Alexander Hamilton at 'Irvington' on the Hudson. April 14th 1868. At this time he was 80 years of age; The words 'Washington's Hair' under the seal [above] were written at that time by James Hamilton who stated to Mrs. Harrison that he received it from his Father Alexander Hamilton to whom it was sent immediately after the Decease of Washington. [Signed] A. W. Harrison May 15th, 1890". The family's letter of provenance, the transcript of a letter by Mrs. Harrison, reads in part: " ... This is a lock of Washington's hair. It was given to my sister Emily Ward [actually, her mother Alice D. Ward Harrison, per original letter of provenance] by Col. James Hamilton. I knew many years ago. -- My mother rented a country place at Irvington on the Hudson ... & it adjoined the Hamilton estate. Being neighbors, we in this way became very well acquainted. We were a family of young girls & Col. Hamilton then a man of eighty, was very bright and entertaining ... [signed] Alice Ward Harnson Pasadena, Cal. Oct. 4th. 1915 ". Evidently. Mrs. Harrison wrote her provenance upon the mat after having been given the lock of hair by her mother. Further provenance includes a letter sent by Hamilton to Mrs. Alice D. Ward Harnson thanking her for a book and praising her daughters (copy included), Thereafter, the lock remained within the Harnson family until 1999, when It was sold by Butterfield & Butterfield. Our consignor purchased the lock from Butterfield, and while under our care, the lock was divided into a small number of lots. This particular lock is affixed to a numbered, embossed color photo reproduction of the original full lock of hair and letter of provenance as received from Butterfield & Butterfield. Also included is a copy of the auction catalog listing picturing the lock and describing its provenance. A most historically relevant relic, even more so with the Hamilton association. Ideal for display.

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May 13, 2009 10:00 AM EDT
Stamford, CT, US

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Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $499 $20
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 + $1,000