Paying thousands for a strand of hair

February 24, 2008 7:57:12 AM PST
It might not even really be George Washington's hair - but it still sold for $17,000.

Four strands reportedly clipped from the first president were sold at auction Friday night to a Richmond man who declined to give his name.

Colorado resident Christa Allen said her father, a Philadelphia attorney, had given her the hair, which was pressed under glass in a locket and accompanied by a watch.

Allen told potential buyers that the hair had been handed down since it was clipped from Washington's head. The Historical Society of Montgomery County, Pa., inspected Allen's evidence and gave her its backing.

Jamie Bates, owner of Thompson & Riley, which auctioned the hair, had hoped it would bring at least $75,000.

"I've never sold George Washington's hair before; I don't know," Bates said before the auction.

The hair is believed to have been snipped from Washington when he was briefly disinterred in 1837.


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