Revolutionary War officers were instructed to "appear in all respects as decent and soldierlike as circumstances' will permit." Their attire was to be orderly, their faces clean-shaven, and their hair to be set and powdered. Although many officers wore wigs out of convenience, George Washington preferred to have his own hair dressed. Benjamin Graves, body servant to Washington's aide-de-camp David Humphreys, claimed he used this powder puff and bag when dressing Washington's hair during the Revolutionary War.


Spherical headless powder puff made from bound pieces of cotton thread.


c. 1780





Overall: 3 1/2 in. x 2 3/4 in. x 1 1/4 in. (8.89 cm x 6.99 cm x 3.18 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of the Children of Thomas Augustus Cox, 1963

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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