Lot 1068
  • 1068

(Alexander Hamilton)

15,000 - 25,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • A lock of Alexander Hamilton's hair, accompanied by an autograph letter signed by Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton ("E. Hamilton"), presenting the relic to her sister-in-law Mary Ann Sawyer Schuyler
  • gold, velvet, hair, satin
One page (7 1/2 x 6 1/4 in.; 190 x 158 mm) on a bifolium, [New York, 1807 or after], autograph address on verso of integral leaf ("Mrs. Schuyler"); small seal tear, some very light creasing and wrinkling, browned. The hair preserved in a late nineteenth-century oval blue velvet locket-case (2 1/8 x 1 7/8 in.; 54 x 46 mm).

Catalogue Note

A gift of "something that has been my Hamilton's."

Eliza Hamilton made frequent gifts of locks of her late husband's hair, as was the custom of the day. In a letter conveying a small lock of Hamilton's hair to the Rev. Samuel Farmar Jarvis, Elizabeth termed his hair "the most valuable gift I have to bestowe." 

The present lock was given to Mary Ann Sawyer Schuyler, the second wife of Elizabeth's brother Philip Jeremiah Schuyler. Philip's first wife, Sarah Rutsen, died in 1803, and he was remarried to Mary Ann Sawyer in 1807. (Elizabeth had two other brothers: John Bradstreet Schuyler died in 1795 and Rensselaer Schuyler was married in 1793.) Her letter makes clear that by the gift of a relic of her husband, Elizabeth was fully admitting Philip's new wife into the Schuyler-Hamilton family.

"My dear Sister, my little girl has informed that you wish to have something that has been my Hamilton's and as it gives me great pleasure to gratify you, I send you a Lock of his Hair for a ring, I am shur you would have been a great favourt of his and therefore pray you to wher it remembrances of him. Your Affectionat Sister."