Martha Washington and her daughter Martha "Patsy" Custis placed four orders for garnet hair ornaments between 1759 and 1772. This bow of flowers was likely among the items received. Hair pins were worn in the forward section of a lady's elaborately piled coiffure, where they sparkled dynamically in the candlelight. As garnet jewelry remained popular throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, few pieces survive in their original state. This ornament was later altered into a brooch, possibly by, Martha Custis Peter, who inherited her aunt's garnet jewelry.


Crescent brooch made from almandite garnets set in gold-washed silver. At the center of the ornament is an eight-petaled flower set with graduated stones, flanked by two gently sloping branches, each laden with nine stones. Each gem is backed with foil in a closed setting. A pin fastener remains on the proper left hand side of the obverse.






Silver, gold, garnet


Overall: 1 1/4 in. x 1 5/8 in. x 1/4 in. (3.18 cm x 4.14 cm x 0.64 cm)

Credit Line

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

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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