Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Home  /  Sold Antiques

Dimensions (inches):

The 21 blue stars on this beautiful hooked rug probably fulfill a purely decorative function, as the border for the spread-winged eagle in its center, but there is a possibility that they represent Illinois, the 21st territory to gain U.S. statehood, or the number of states loyal to the Union at the beginning of the Civil War (34 total states less 11 official Confederate States and 2 border states). In any event, the rug is an unusual example for a couple of reasons. One is the half-moon, hearth-shaped format, which would make it a great choice for over a mantel. Two is its large size. And last, but far from least, is the atypical combination of red, salmon pink, and dark blue wool fragments that make up the rug's primary color scheme. Like many hooked rugs of the late 19th centuries, the mottled background gives it a surprisingly modern feel. The overall form is very bold and, in combination with its size, would easily command a room.

The fact that the eagle turns its head toward its left talon, the one that holds the arrows, may be a representation of wartime manufacture. Though Woodrow Wilson changed the position of the eagle in 1916 by an executive order of the presidency, and Harry Truman changed it back in 1945, it is merely urban legend that either the official seal of the United States or the U.S. Presidential Seal changes while our nation is at war. But private individuals could display whatever symbolism they chose in homemade folk art, and it may mean something here. This is a handmade rug, hooked on loosely woven cotton, that dates to the period between the Spanish-American War (1898) and WWI (1917-1918). So wartime symbolism may be reflected in the eagle.

Mounting: A specially-cut frame, made of wood with a styrofoam core, has been constructed as a strainer, over which the rug is stretch-mounted. Red cotton covers the strainer frame and the rug was mounted to the strainer with Velcro, hand-stitched around the perimeter.

Condition: There are very minor losses, but there are no significant condition issues. The rug appears to have never been used.
Primary Color: red, pink, blue
Earliest Date: 1898 (Span-Am War)
Latest Date: 1917-18 (WWI)
For Sale Status: Available
Price SOLD
Page Views:... 3378