Martha Washington's dress fabric for sale

Feb. 9, 2012 at 1:22 PM

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Officials with the Philadelphia-based Raab collection said they are selling a piece of fabric from one of Martha Washington's dresses.

Nathan Raab, vice president of the Raab Collection, said the 5-inch-by-9-inch swatch of fabric from a dress belonging to President George Washington's wife can be purchased for $40,000, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Thursday.

In our experience, this is unique," Raab said of the item, which might be the only piece of Martha Washington's wardrobe to be sold to collectors.

Raab said the swatch comes with a letter written from one-time owner Alden Freeman when he gave the fabric in 1932 to Nan Britton, a woman who claimed to have had an affair with President Warren G. Harding and alleged he was the father of her daughter.

Freeman said in his letter he was giving the fabric to Britton for her "efforts to secure justice not only for President Harding's daughter but for all other wronged and disinherited children of unmarried mothers."

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