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    Martha Washington: Ornate piece of black lace belonging to Martha Washington.
    Black lace, approximately 14.5" x 2.75", belonging to Martha Washington, possibly mourning lace after the death of Gen. Washington. Part of lot 2134 of the February 5, 2010 James D. Julia Auction of items from the Tobias Lear family. Lear's second and third wives were nieces of Martha Washington.

    From the Julian D. Julia catalogue description of lot 2134: "Small group of lace and material identified as Martha Washington's lace." Included are color copies of the decorative cover of the 6" x 9" by ½" box in which the lace was kept and a 6" x 8.5" cardboard upon which was recently penned "Martha / Washington's / Lace."

    Colonel Tobias Lear (1762-1816) was George Washington's trusted friend and personal secretary from 1784 until Washington's death in 1799. Lear was at Mount Vernon when Washington died. This was Lear's diary entry: "About ten o'clk, Saturday December 14, 1799, Washington made several attempts to speak to me before he could effect it, at length he said,--'I am just going. Have me decently buried; and do not let my body be put into the Vault in less than two days after I am dead.' I bowed assent. He then looked at me again and said, 'Do you understand me?' I replied 'Yes.' 'Tis well' said he."

    Frances "Fanny" Bassett was the daughter of Burwell and Anna Maria Dandridge Bassett, Martha Washington's sister. She was living at Mount Vernon when she became engaged to George Augustine Washington, General George Washington's nephew, who was also living at Mount Vernon. After they were married in 1785, General Washington made his nephew the manager of Mount Vernon and gave him a portion of his plantation upon which he could establish a farm for himself and his wife. When he died in 1793, his widow retained control of the farm, called Walnut Tree Farm. In 1795, Fanny Bassett Washington married Tobias Lear and control of the farm passed to Lear. When Fanny died in 1796, George Washington invited Lear to rejoin the Washington household with his young son from his first marriage and Fanny and George Augustine Washington's three young children. In 1803, Tobias Lear married Frances "Fanny" Dandridge Henley, his late wife's cousin, and another of Martha Washington's nieces. Tobias Lear committed suicide in 1816. His widow died in 1856.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2017
    13th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 474

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