Martha Washington and her daughter Martha "Patsy" Custis placed four orders for garnet hair ornaments between 1759 and 1772. This spray of flowers, known as an "aigrette" or "egret" because of its resemblance to the crest or feathered plume of the Lesser White Heron, was likely among the items received. Accordingly, the jewel was worn at the center of a lady's elaborately piled coiffure. Patsy was apparently fond of such adornments, as she is depicted wearing an aigrette of paste or pearls in her 1771 miniature portrait by Charles Willson Peale. More





  • Retailed - England
  • Possibly made - England


Silver, gold, garnet


Overall: 5/8 in. x 1 1/8 in. x 1/4 in. (1.6 cm x 2.87 cm x 0.64 cm)


Gift of Mrs. Walter Gibson Peter, Jr. in memory of Agnes Peter Mott, 1975

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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