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  STEVENSGRAPH BOOK MARK WITH AN IMAGE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN, MADE IN NEW JERSEY FOR THE 1876 CENTENNIAL INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION IN PHILADELPHIA

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 17.5" x 7"
Flag Size (H x L): 13" x 2.5"
Description....:
Stevensgraph (woven silk picture), in the form of a book mark, made and signed by the Phoenix Manufacturing Company in Patterson, New Jersey. [Signature woven on the reverse.]

The form is straight with a triangular wedge at the bottom, punctuated by a red silk tassel. The colors are good, the detail is excellent, and this is a particularly nice scale. The finely executed imagery features a full breast portrait of Abraham Lincoln in a fanciful medallion of scrolling flora and fauna, all of these in black to emphasize the post-mortem date and mourning. A patriotic federal shield with 13 stars and 13 pales serves as a keystone and is gripped by an eagle bearing an olive branch thrust forward. Note that there are no arrows, as would appear in most renditions, so that the message is clearly one of peace, illustrating Lincoln's role in the Civil War. A 38-star flag is tipped above in respect for our fallen chief, topped with a streamer bearing the "E Puribus Unum" slogan (out of many, one). At the very top is more floral decoration in a repeating fashion.

In the lower register are the famous words Lincoln used to close his second inaugural address on March 4th, 1865, just 41 days before his assassination. More floral scrollwork was used to complete the ribbon below the verse.

All of the symbolism used in the design is meaningful, including to the count of stars. The bookmark would have been first produced by Phoenix as a souvenir for the Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (our nation's first World's Fair; a six-month long event, held in celebration of our 100-year anniversary of independence). Patterns were not always made then abandoned, and this one may even have been used at both times or straight through, and the design could have been re-used again for other world's fairs, such as the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Some styles made to glorify George Washington can been seen in both 1876 and 1893.

An example of this Stevensgraph is documented in a "Collecting Lincoln" by Stuart Schneider (1997, Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA), p. Page 244. Schneider incorrectly dates it to 1865, presuming that it was made on the heels of the assassination.

Mounting: The gilded liner dates to the same period as the textile. The black molding with red undertones and highlights is modern. The textile has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton twill, black in color, which was washed to reduce excess dye. An acid-free agent was added to the wash to further set the dye and the fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose. Spacers keep the textile away from the glass, which is U.V. protective.

Condition: There is very minor toning along the right edge. There is minor fabric loss along the same edge, the worst of which measures a bit less than 1/8" x approx. 1/2". Silk fabric was archivally adhered to the reverse in this area.
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type:
Star Count: 38
Earliest Date of Origin: 1876
Latest Date of Origin: 1876
State/Affiliation: New Jersey
War Association:
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
 

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