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Designed to compactly house everything a gentleman needed to maintain a well-groomed appearance, this stand's unadorned form likely appealed to Washington's taste for fashionable yet practical goods. When not in use, the adjustable mirror slid down within the case, and two leaves (now missing) closed over the top. The stand may be the "1 Mahog[an]y Shaving Desk £4" that George Washington purchased in 1774 from the estate sale of "Belvoir," the home of his neighbors and close friends, George William and Sally Fairfax.


Square shaving stand with recessed shelf with pull-up mirror above a cabinet, drawer, and shelf on four straight legs with square feet; recessed shelf features a large, central circular cut-out intended to hold a basin and two smaller circular cut-outs at the back corners intended to hold soap or brush cups; directly below this shelf is a deep cabinet with a door affixed to the proper left side with two hinges; directly below this is a short drawer, and after a gap of about a foot, a shelf with shaped front corners joined to the legs at front and a back edge which joins the back of the case; both the door and the drawer have brass pulls; a framed mirror is inserted within a larger frame supported on two legs with a stretcher between that slides up and down in the compartment at the back of case; a brass ring pull screwed to the top center of the mirror frame allows it to be pulled up and a brass catch on the proper left side of the mirror allows the mirror to be held in place when it is raised; a bail handle with quatrefoil escutcheons is screwed onto either side of the case.

The lower shelf and the mirror are believed to be replacements.





Mahogany (primary), pine, oak (secondary), brass, mirrored glass


Overall: 32 1/16 in. x 15 5/8 in. x 15 3/4 in. (81.43 cm x 39.7 cm x 40.01 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mary Custis Lee, 1908

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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