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Gentlemen in the eighteenth century often travelled with compact razor cases that held their personal set of shaving and dressing supplies. One such case, possibly belonging to George Washington, contained this shaving brush. Introduced in the mid-eighteenth century, the brush allowed users to apply ample lather to their face without dirtying their hands. The black and white bristles appear to be badger hair, considered to be the best for the purpose.


Narrow, rectangular wooden box. A divider at the centerpoint creates two sections within its interior. The first is lined with a close-fitting iron tray and lacks a cover. Rabbets are cut just below the upper inside edge of the box along the long sides. A thin piece of wood with an indented thumb grip on one end serves as a cover.

The upper section of the short side on the compartment side is missing. The sliding lid on the compartment may have had its tapered ends broken off, or it may simply be a replacement, as it is currently too thick and slightly too narrow to slide within the rabbets cut for it.

Brush made of bristles of bi-colored animal hair with a silver ferrule and an epoxy handle painted to simulate wood. The ferrule is engraved with a band of two lines around the top and bottom edges.





Hair, silver, wood, iron


Overall (box): 5 5/8 in. x 7/8 in. x 1/2 in. (14.29 cm x 2.22 cm x 1.27 cm)
Overall (brush): 2 5/8 in. x 7/8 in. x 5/8 in. (6.67 cm x 2.22 cm x 1.59 cm)
Other (Brush without handle): 3/4 in. x 7/8 in. x 5/8 in. (1.91 cm x 2.22 cm x 1.59 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1951

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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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