Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Martha Washington Exceedingly Rare Signature Together with Four Family Monogrammed Handkerchiefs. Martha Washington signature, "M Washington" likely removed from a letter, 2.5" x 0.5". The signature is accompanied by a handwritten statement by Martha Washington's great granddaughter. She writes: "1852 Autographs of / Mrs. Martha Washington / for / G. Washington Lewis 1852 / his Great Great Grand Mother / & left by his Grand Mother / E. P. Lewis." To its left: "written by his / Mother E M Lewis." On verso: "For G.W. Lewis / Autographs of / Mrs. M. Washington / his / Gt Gt Grand Mother."

    John Parke Custis was Martha Washington's son from her first marriage to Daniel Parke Custis. In 1799, at Mount Vernon, John's daughter Eleanor Parke Custis became Eleanor Parke Lewis (E.P. Lewis) when she married Lawrence Lewis, son of George Washington's sister Betty. Their son Lorenzo Lewis married Esther Maria Lewis (E.M. Lewis) and George Washington Lewis (1829-1885) was their son. G.W. Lewis's grandmother E.P. Lewis was Martha Washington's granddaughter.

    Together with four ornately monogrammed linen handkerchiefs owned by the great niece of Martha Washington's sisters, Anna Maria and Elizabeth, with impeccable family provenance. The linen handkerchiefs were part of lot 2134 of the February 5, 2010, James D. Julia Auction which included items from the Tobias Lear and George Washington Storer families. Lear's second and third wives were nieces of Martha Washington.

    Colonel Tobias Lear (1762-1816) was George Washington's trusted friend and personal secretary from 1784 until Washington's death in 1799. In 1795, Lear married Frances "Fanny" Bassett Washington, daughter of Martha Washington's younger sister Anna Maria Dandridge Bassett. She died in 1796. In 1803, Lear married Frances "Fanny" Dandridge Henley, daughter of Martha Washington's youngest sister Elizabeth Dandridge Henley. Col. Lear was the great uncle of Mary Washington Jones ("MWJ") whose great aunts were Martha Washington's sisters, Anna Maria and Elizabeth.

    Col. Tobias Lear's sister Mary had married Samuel Storer. Their son (Lear's nephew) Rear Admiral George Washington Storer (1789-1864) and his wife Mary were the parents of Mary Washington Storer who married Albert L. Jones, becoming Mary Washington Jones ("MWJ"). Legend has it that President George Washington visited when Lear's nephew was a baby and stated that he hoped that Storer would be a better man than his namesake.

    From the Julian D. Julia catalogue description of lot 2134: "linen handkerchiefs, three with monogram 'MWJ' and one with 'J'."

    The handkerchiefs are as follows:
    (1) Ivory linen handkerchief ornately monogrammed "J," 14" x 14," soiled
    (2) Ivory linen handkerchief with foliated borders, ornately monogrammed "MWJ," 16" x 16"
    (3) Ivory linen handkerchief ornately monogrammed "MWJ," 16" x 16," small tears and hole at borders and around monogram
    (4) Ivory linen handkerchief florally monogrammed "MWJ," 15" x 15"

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2017
    13th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 401

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $250,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $250,000 and $2,500,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,500,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 June 20 Cartography Signature Auction .

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 April 18 Historical Manuscripts Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    2018 April 18 Historical Manuscripts Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,010,924