Although many American gentleman of his stature wore powdered wigs, George Washington preferred to have his own hair powdered and dressed in a tightly braided queue. For formal occasions, the queue was encased in a black silk bag drawn closed by a tie concealed under a black bow or rosette. Relatively few hair bags survive today, and this rare example is the only one known of the many worn by Washington. Painted portraits of Washington as president record his use of a similar hair bag.

See the portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, H-4.





Silk, linen


Overall: 11 1/4 in. x 6 7/8 in. (28.58 cm x 17.48 cm)
Other (Bag): 9 in. (22.86 cm)
Other (Rosette): 5 1/4 in. x 5 1/4 in. (13.34 cm x 13.34 cm)


Gift of Mrs. Lyttleton B. P. Gould, Jr., M. Chapin Krech, Dr. Shepard Krech, Alvin W. Krech, Peter Chapin, Charles Chapin, and Mrs. Charles Merrill Chapin III, in memory of Esther Maria Lewis Chapin, 1986
Conservation courtesy of the Life Guard Society of Historic Mount Vernon

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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