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    Description

    Ulysses S. Grant: A Well Documented Silk Top Hat Owned by and Worn by the 18th President. Rarely do presidentially owned artifacts come from such an impeccable source. The general's widow, Julia Dent Grant, presented this hat after Grant's death in 1885 to Dr. George F. Shrady. Glued inside the hat is a handwritten note from Shrady to his grandson Richard: "To Little Richard, I am with this note, bequeathing to you this fine hat owned by U.S. Grant and given to me by his widow Julia Grant after the General's death in 1885. He was a friend indeed. Keep it close to you always. G.F. Shrady"

    One of the most eminent physicians of his day, Shrady had administered to President Garfield after he was shot in 1881, and to President Grant during his last illness. Shrady was a consulting physician on the illness of Emperor Frederick III of Germany. In 1908 he wrote General Grant's Last Days.

    In assessing the desirability, and hence value, of a celebrity-owned artifact, a key concern is the degree to which the particular item is "iconic" for the individual in question. Innumerable Grant photos, caricatures, etc., show him wearing a hat like this one and, along with his omnipresent cigars, these are certainly "trademark" Grant items. As such, this Grant top hat is far more desirable than would be, say, a boot or vest worn by him.

    The hat shows minor wear and slight damage but is in very good overall display condition. Also included is a well-worn custom leather travel box. Clearly this hat was worn many times and carried on many trips. Height: 7.25", length: 11.5". The manufacturer was Edward T. Hawkins, Syracuse, NY. Ex-collection: Robert White.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2008
    2nd-3rd Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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