Skip to main content

View a collection of trappings from George Washington's military uniform visible in Charles Willson Peale's 1772 portrait.

Special exhibit showing from

When Charles Willson Peale painted his portrait in 1772, George Washington sported a variety of accessories to indicate his military status.

The sash across his chest, the sword at his side, the embellished cockade on his hat, and the silver gorget around his neck were all symbols of rank that any 18th-century viewer would recognize.

George Washington’s Military Sash

Made in England or America, ca. 1750–1775

In Peale’s 1772 portrait, George Washington wears a red officer’s sash—possibly this silk example, which descended in the family of Washington’s nephew.

Made using a technique called “sprang weaving,” silk sashes had enormous strength and could be used as stretchers to carry wounded officers off the battlefield.

The sash currently on display is a reproduction.

Gift of John Pierpont Morgan, Jr., 1924 [W-87] (Photo: Thalia Romero)

Exhibit Details

Admission to the Donald W. Reynolds Museum & Education Center is included with general admission.

Exhibit Dates

On view through July 11, 2021