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   13 STARS, CIVIL WAR PERIOD, 1861-65, IN A RARE, SMALL SIZE AMONG KNOWN EXAMPLES AND WITH A RARE VARIATION OF A WREATH DESIGN THAT HAS MORE OF AN OCTAGON PROFILE THAN CIRCULAR:


 

Description:
13 star American national flag of the Civil War period (1861-65), in a very scarce size for the period and with a seldom seen configuration of stars. We have made 13 star flags in America from 1777 to the present. The U.S. Navy flew them on small boats until 1916. Private individuals flew them on yachts. Civil War soldiers carried them with an eye towards our past struggles for liberty and freedom. 13 star flags were produced for the 1876 centennial, the 1926 sesquicentennial, and countless patriotic events from the mid-19th century onward. Since there was no official star configuration until the 20th century (1912 specifically), the stars on 13 star flag may appear in any one of a host of configurations, some of which are more rare and desirable than others. The stars of this particular flag are arranged in an unusual pattern that consists of an octagon-shaped medallion, with a star in the very center and a star in each of the 4 corners of the blue canton. This configuration is sometimes seen on a rare variety of Civil War parade flags. It's a crude interpretation of what would later become a very popular design. Seen during and after the 1876 centennial of American independence, this similar style features a circular wreath instead of the octagonal formation. The circular version can be seen during the Civil War, but it is rarely encountered during this earlier time frame. The flag in question here pre-dates the centennial. Although the specific purpose of the flag's manufacture is not know with certainty, the size is ideal for collectors and its presentation is beautiful. This is not a U.S. Navy flag. The Navy did employ 13 star flag on small boats in this era, but they produced their own flags and used lineal star configurations. The example was commercially manufactured by a professional flag-maker, probably in a cottage industry setting. It may have been made for private maritime use or to serve military ground forces in some fashion, perhaps as a camp colors or in the recruitment of soldiers. Its size does not fit military guidelines, but a lot of variation exists in Civil War use of national colors. Flags of this size might be used on small craft that ferried sailors back-and-forth to shore. They were sometimes flown on the gaff or yard arm of a larger vessel, or perhaps from the pilot house as a ship captain's personal flag. While flags were made and sold in general patriotism of the war, I suspect that wasn't the purpose here. The small scale of the flag itself is very desirable among known examples that pre-date the 1890s. Prior to the 1890�s, most flags made for extended outdoor use were very large. Those with sewn construction were generally eight feet long and larger. This is because flags needed to be seen from a distance to be effective in their purpose as signals. Today their use is more often decorative and the general display of patriotism. Smaller flags exist in the early periods, but they are the exception. A six-foot example is small among flags of those that pre-date 1890, and they smaller they are, the rarer they are. Measuring just four-and-a-half feet on the fly, this one is particularly so. Because 19th century sewn flags can be cumbersome to frame and display in an indoor setting, many collectors prefer small examples, like this one. The stars of the flag are hand-sewn and double-appliqu�d, meaning that they are applied to both sides. The stripes and canton of the flag are made of wool bunting that has been pieced with treadle stitching. There is a golden brown linen binding along the hoist with 2 brass grommets. Due to a combination of the star pattern, the tiny stars, the small scale of the flag, the Civil War date, and its attractive visual qualities, this is both a beautiful and highly desirable example among 13 star flags of the mid-19th century. Mounting: The flag has been hand-stitched to 100% silk organza on every seam and throughout the star field for support. The flag was then hand-stitched 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 gilded French molding with excellent color and a traditional Federal period profile. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic.
Inventory Number:

Dealer  

Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
Contact   Jeff Bridgman Phone: (717) 502-1281
Period: 19th Century (1801-1900)
Date: 1861-1865
Origin: US
Condition: The condition is excellent for a wool flag of the period. There is only the most minor amount of mothing, accompanied by very minor staining.
Measurements: Frame: Approx: 42" x 63.5" Flag: 31" x 52.5"
Inventory Other Inventory by this Dealer
Web-site: http://www.jeffbridgman.com
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
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