Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
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  EXCEPTIONAL 1876 QUILT FEATURING THE IMAGES OF GEORGE & MARTHA WASHINGTON, MADE FROM PATRIOTIC TEXTILES AND FLAGS THAT WERE PROBABLY ACQUIRED IN PHILADELPHIA AT THE CENTENNIAL INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 93.75" x 78"
Flag Size (H x L): 83" x 67.25"
Description....:
Patriotic quilt made for the 1876 centennial celebration; a stunning example, the centerpiece of which consists of two extremely rare printed cotton textiles that feature George and Martha Washington. These are flanked above and below by pairs of parade flags that feature the crests and flags of various nations that participated in the Centennial International Exhibition. This six-month-long, Worlds Fair event was held in the city of Philadelphia. All of the fabrics used on the front of the quilt would have been available as souvenirs at the expo and it is likely that the maker purchased them there, took them home and proceeded to make this as a memento of her attendance.

The quilt is dated "1876" above George's image and the date "1776" appears above Martha to note the 100-year anniversary of American independence. The wide borders of the quilt are made of 39 star parade flags that are likewise printed on cotton. Although the official star count on the American national flag in 1876 was 37 stars, the 38th state, Colorado, joined the Union on August 1st of that year. Flag-makers didn't care what was official. They just wanted to be selling flags and, if at all possible, "one-uping" their competitors. Some produced 39 star flags, in anticipation that yet another state would soon be added. 39 star flags were common in 1876, perhaps even more so than 38 star flags.

In my experience with flags and patriotic textiles, I have never before encountered the two in this quilt that feature George and Martha Washington. Although their maker is unknown, other similar textiles exist that feature the borders around their edges, which are comprised of a series of 6-pointed stars. 6-pointed Stars-of-David are also repeated throughout the white background. I would suggest that the person that designed the pattern was of Jewish faith, based upon other objects with 6-pointed stars that appear in the late 19th century that are linked to Jewish makers.

Mounting: The quilt has been hand-stitched throughout to a background of 100% cotton twill, black in color, which has been washed to reduce excess dye. And acid-free agent was added to the wash to further set the dye and the fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose. A supportive aluminum framework was used to create a pillow mount for added support. The mount was then placed in a black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed Italian molding with a serpentine profile and a rippled inner edge. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic.

Condition: The overall condition is quite good considering the fabrics and the date. Cotton parade flags are thin and not made for a textile of this nature. There is some splitting throughout, the worst of which occurs in the two 39 star flag textiles with international flag borders. Extra stitches were added in the affected areas and archival adhesives were expertly applied to the batting underneath some areas. There is some water staining and bleeding.
Collector Level: Flags for the truest Patriots. My best offerings
Flag Type:
Star Count: 39
Earliest Date of Origin: 1876
Latest Date of Origin: 1876
State/Affiliation: Pennsylvania
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
 

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