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Entirely hand-sewn American national flag of the Civil War era with 36 stars, in a unusual and desirable small scale for the period (1864-67). The stars are made of cotton, hand-sewn, and single-appliqu�d. This means that they were applied to one side of the canton, then the blue fabric was cut from behind each star, folded over, and under-hemmed, so that one star could be viewed on both sides of the flag. I always find single-appliqu�d stars more interesting, not only because they are evidence of a more difficult level of seam-work and stitching, but also because they are more visually intriguing. Both the sewing itself and stretching of the fabrics over time has results in stars that have irregular shapes and interesting visual qualities, which is certainly the case here. This is why flags with single-appliqu�d stars often appeal to connoisseurs of early American textiles. The two visible rows of hand-stitching emphasize their hand-sewn construction. This flag was made by Annin in New City and is signed with a black stencil along the hoist binding that reads "Annin & Co., N.Y.". Annin is our nation's eldest flag-maker that is still in business today. The company was founded in the 1830's, incorporated in 1847, and was located in New York until the 1960�s, when it moved to Verona, New Jersey. It is interesting to note that 36 is the lowest star count I have ever encountered on a flag with a Annin signature. While in business for at least 30 years by this time, it seems that the firm did not sign its flags before this period. The name "LaPaugh" is beautifully hand-embroidered along the sleeve in brown thread. This would be the name of a former owner. There were 2 men by this name who are recorded as having served in the Union Army and appear to have survived until 1864, both of whom were privates. These include John LaPaugh of New Hartford, NY, who mustered into the 14th NY Infantry on October 14th, 1862 and who's end of service not recorded, and Napoleon LaPaugh of Cairo, IL, who mustered into the 15th Illinois Cavalry on September 22nd, 1861. He was assigned to Company D and later transferred to Company E and survived the war. While neither soldier seems a keen candidate for ownership merely because of rank, John LaPaugh was from NY, the flag was made in New York, and LaPaugh is a highly uncommon name. The canton and stripes are made of wool bunting. Wool sheds water and was the fabric of choice for extended outdoor use. That stars are made of cotton. There is an open sleeve made of especially coarse linen along the hoist end, through which a rope would be threaded for hoisting. Adding to the appeal of this flag is its comparably tiny size when compared to others made for extended outdoor use prior to 1890. During the 19th century, flags with pieced and sewn construction (as opposed to printed) were typically eight feet long or larger. This is because they were important in their function as signals, meaning that they needed to be seen and recognized from a great distance. Even flags made for decorative purpose were generally very large by today�s standards. A small flag was six feet in length, like this example. Production of flags smaller than this with sewn construction was near-to-non-existent, with the exception of infantry flank-markers and guidons, surviving examples of which are rare. Since the average 19th century sewn flag can be cumbersome to frame and display in an indoor setting, many collectors prefer printed parade flags and smaller sewn flags, like this one. The 36th state, Nevada, entered the Union during the Civil War on October 31st, 1864. The last Confederate general surrendered on May 26th, 1865. The 36 star flag became official on July 4th of that year, but makers of printed flags would have begun adding a 36th star to their flags in 1864, even before the addition of the new state occurred. Lincoln pushed Nevada through just 8 days before the November election. Nevada�s wealth in silver was attractive to a nation struggling with the debts of war and increased support for the Republican ticket. The 36 star flag was replaced by the 37 star flag in 1867, with the addition of Nebraska. Mounting: The flag was stitched to 100% natural fabrics on every seam and throughout the star field for support. It was then sewn to a background of 100% cotton twill, 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 acrylic.
Inventory Number:


Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
Contact   Jeff Bridgman Phone: (717) 502-1281
Period: 19th Century (1801-1900)
Date: 1864-1867
Condition: The flag has obviously been flown for an extended period and has expected losses that are indicative of this fact. The sleeve has significant wear at the top and bottom, as well as in the center, where an additional anchor point was evidently made. There is loss in the top hoist-end corner of the canton that includes a significant portion of 2 of the stars. There is moderate loss in the bottom corner and along the fly end. The fly was probably turned back at one point and re-hemmed to repair losses from wind shear. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Measurements: Frame: 52.25" x 82.5" Flag: 43" x 71.75"
Inventory Other Inventory by this Dealer
Price: SOLD
E-mail: Inquire
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