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  SILK KERCHIEF WITH A BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF THE WORLD COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION (CHICAGO WORLD'S FAIR), SET AGAINST AN AMERICAN FLAG BACKDROP, 1892-1893

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 27.5" x 27"
Flag Size (H x L): 17" x 16"
Description....:
Printed on silk, this colorful kerchief was made for the 1893 World Columbian Expo in Chicago. It features a bird's eye view of the six-month extravaganza, a.k.a. the Chicago World's Fair, set within an oval window that is canted at forty-five degree angle against an American national flag with a square profile to match that of the bandanna itself. Made as a souvenir for the event, it is one of the most bold textiles that one might acquire while attending this monumental celebration. Note the cornflower blue canton and how it contrasts with a richly saturated red that provides fine complement to the striking design.

If the rows progressed logically beneath the image of the fair they would be 44 in number, which is appropriate for the period. Their configuration of 8-8-6-6-8-8 is especially unusual and I do not recall encountering it previously on other 44 star examples. Wyoming joined the Union as the 44th state July 10th, 1890. Many flag makers would have began to add a 44th star to their flags on or before that day, and the 44 star flag would have generally seen use until the addition of Utah in 1896.

The fair was held in honor of the 400th anniversary of the landing of Christopher Columbus in 1892. A dedication occurred in October of that year, but the opening was delayed until 1893 due to the extensive demands of its construction. The exposition covered more than 600 acres and featured just under 200 new buildings (purposely temporary), predominantly of neoclassical architecture. The centerpiece was a huge, manmade lake that was to represent Columbus's crossing of the Atlantic. There were canals and lagoons. 46 nations participated and more than 27 million people attended. The scale and grandeur of the World Columbia Exposition far exceeded the other world fairs became a icon of the emerging notion of "American Exceptionalism."

Mounting: The kerchief has been hand-sewn to a background of 100% cotton, black in color, which was washed to remove 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. The mount was then placed in a black painted, hand-gilded and distressed Italian molding. The glazing is U.V. protective Plexiglas.

Condition: There is very minor foxing and staining and there is a very minor split in the extreme lower right-hand corner.
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1893
Latest Date of Origin: 1893
State/Affiliation: Illinois
War Association:
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
 

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