George Washington's 'illustrious' hair goes up for auction

A lock of hair from founding father George Washington is set to go up for auction next month and experts believe it could fetch a pretty penny.

The strands of hair from America's first president were attached for nearly 150 years to an autographed note signed by former Secretary of State James A. Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton's third son, according to Lelands Auctions, the auction house that is selling the lot. Speaking with Fox News, Leland's founder, Josh Evans, said the lock of hair could sell for "at least $10,000."

Dated March 20, 1870, the note from Hamilton to Eleanor Collins of Nevis, Dobbs Ferry, includes a “lock of the Illustrious Washington […] as a mark of my respect and regard for you.” The strands measure 5.31 inches and are gathered with string, attached to a card with a wax seal.


The starting bid for Washington's hair was $2,500 and the auction is slated to close on Feb. 1.

A separate lock of hair from Washington was uncovered last year tucked into a shabby almanac on the shelf of a college library in upstate New York.

George Washington memorabilia 

Memorabilia from Washington, who died in 1799 at his estate in Mount Vernon, continues to be a source of fascination for collectors.

In November 2017, a 235-year-old panoramic painting revealed the only known wartime depiction of George Washington’s Revolutionary War field tent. The previously unidentified painting was spotted by curators from the Museum of the American Revolution, who purchased it at Heritage Auctions.

The painting shows hundreds of military tents amid the rolling landscape of the Hudson Valley, with Washington’s tent perched upon a hilltop.

In December 2017, a jewel-encrusted medal owned and worn by Washington went on display at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Commissioned by officers of the French Navy, the gold and silver medal is embedded with almost 200 diamonds, rubies and emeralds.

The Diamond Eagle was presented to Washington in May 1784 at Philadelphia’s City Tavern near the current Museum of the American Revolution.

In May 2018, the headquarters flag used by Washington during the Revolutionary War went on display in Philadelphia, marking its first public appearance in the city since the war itself.

Adorned with 13 six-pointed stars to represent the original 13 colonies, the artifact is thought to be the earliest surviving 13-star American flag.


Fox News' James Rogers contributed to this story. Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia