When traveling long distances, gentlemen conveyed their identity and social standing to the strangers they encountered through visual cues such as the quality of their personal clothing and equipage. The scarlet and off-white livery lace on these pistol holsters and holster "caps" indicates they were used by a trusted mounted servant who would have been dressed in colors taken from the Washington coat of arms. Liveried servants may have used these items to house and protect their pistols from the elements during Washington's presidential tour of the United States from 1789 to 1791. More





Flax, wool, leather


Overall (B.1): 17 11/16 in. x 10 in. (44.93 cm x 25.4 cm)
Overall (B.2): 13 5/16 in. x 4 7/8 in. x 2 1/2 in. (33.81 cm x 12.42 cm x 6.35 cm)


Transferred to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association through the generosity of John Augustine Washington III, 1860
Conservation courtesy of the Life Guard Society of Historic Mount Vernon

Object Number



Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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