|STEVENSGRAPH BOOK MARK / RIBBON GLORIFYING ULYSSES S. GRANT, WITH HIS PORTRAIT IN MILITARY GARB, MADE BY THOMAS STEVENS, WHO INVENTED THE PROCESS BY WHICH THESE WERE PRODUCED
|Frame Size (H x L):||13.25" x 6"|
|Flag Size (H x L):||9.25" x 2"|
|Stevensgraph (woven silk picture), in the form of a book mark, made to celebrate President and General Ulysses S. Grant . Made sometime between his 1869 inauguration and his passing in 1885, this particular example was produced by Thomas Stevens, a weaver in Coventry, England, who adapted a Jacquard loom to weave these highly intricate and colorful silk pictures. In 1862 he was producing four different designs, but by the late 1880's he had approximately 900 varieties. Many were bookmarks, but there were greeting cards, postcards, and other formats.
While the vast majority of Stevensgraphs with patriotic American themes in the marketplace today were produced in New Jersey, which became a mecca for embroidery work and the production of other decorative textiles in the United States during the late 19th century, this one was made by Stevens' own company. It may have been woven at the 1876 Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia, which served as the nucleus of the celebration of America's 100-year anniversary of American independence and occurred during Grant's second presidential term. Lasting for a duration of 6 months, this was our nation's first World's Fair. Stevens had a booth at the Expo and wove ribbons on site. Such events showcased modern technology of precisely this sort and presented a ripe marketplace for the byproducts thereof.
The form is straight with a triangular wedge at the bottom. The design centers around Grant's image, which is particularly well executed. The former Commanding General of the Union Army is presented in military garb, set within an oval wreath of laurel branches, with roses at their apex. Above is a spread-wing eagle, holding a forked-tail streamer in its beak with text that reads "E Pluribus Unum." Laurel leaves or olive branches appear at either side, and a federal shield below, which serves as a keystone for a neoclassical arch. There is a patriotic border at the very top, followed by fanciful text and a date, in patriotic colors, that reads "Richmond 1865," denoting Grant's pivotal victory that turned the war into the Union's grasp. Below the portrait is a caption that reads: "General U.S. Grant; President of the United States of America." Below this is a decorative adornment consisting of a blue star and fanciful scrollwork, followed by crossed American flags.
Mounting: The flag was mounted and framed within our own conservation department, which is led by expert staff. We take great care in the mounting and preservation of flags and have framed thousands of examples.
The paint-decorated and gilded molding is American, dates to the period between 1840 and 1870, and has exceptional, early surface. The background is 100% hemp fabric. Spacers keep the textile away from the glass, which is U.V. protective.
Condition: Overall excellent. There is extremely minor oxidation, but there are no significant condition issues.
|Collector Level:||Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts|
|Earliest Date of Origin:||1869|
|Latest Date of Origin:||1893|
|War Association:||1861-1865 Civil War|