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  "A NATION'S LOSS": SILK, 1865, ABRAHAM LINCOLN MOURNING RIBBON IN AN ESPECIALLY ATTRACTIVE PORTRAIT DESIGN

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 8.5" x 5.75"
Flag Size (H x L): 5.5" x 3"
Description....:
Lincoln mourning ribbon, printed in black on white silk, made for distribution as the Union gathered to pay their respects to its gallant leader. The imagery focuses on an oval medallion, in the center of which is an especially attractive engraved portrait of our nation's 16th president. The image, a 3/4 pose variant of the famous Gettysburg portrait (taken by Alexander Gardner and considered by many the best photo of Lincoln ever captured,) is flanked on either side by American flags. Below is an eagle, with a canted federal shield, bearing an olive branch in its proper right talon and a dead snake in its left, representing both peace, following the recent northern victory, and death of the Confederacy. A tiny image of Lady Columbia stands at the very top of the oval window, flanked to either side by angels with palm branches and laurel leaves.

Above the device, in Old English text, are the words "A Nation's Loss." Beneath, in simple, Roman letters, is the following text: "Died April 15, 1865." A rectangular border surrounds the perimeter.

The ribbon would have almost certainly been worn by a reverent observer as the funeral train made its way back to Springfield, Illinois, retracing the steps Lincoln had traveled to Washington as the president-elect on his way to his first inauguration. Millions of onlookers lined up to pay their respects along the 1,654-mile procession.

Lincoln’s funeral train was dubbed “The Lincoln Special.” His portrait was fastened to the front of the engine above the cattle guard. Approximately 300 people accompanied Lincoln’s body on the long journey, including his eldest son Robert, who went as far as Baltimore. Also on the train was a coffin containing the body of Lincoln’s son Willie, who had died in 1862 at the age of 11 of typhoid fever, during Lincoln’s second year in office, and was being moved in order to be buried alongside his father at the family plot in Springfield.

In 1911, a prairie fire near Minneapolis, Minnesota, destroyed the train car that had so famously carried Lincoln’s body to its final resting place.

Mounting: The ribbon was mounted and framed in 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 dates to the period between 1850 and 1880. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass.

Condition: There are minor tears at the top, where the ribbon was pinned, likely to an article of clothing. Modest soiling in this immediate area was professionally treated to reduce its visual distraction. There is minor, limited soiling elsewhere. Many of my clients prefer early patriotic textiles such as this to show their age and history of use gracefully.
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1865
Latest Date of Origin: 1865
State/Affiliation:
War Association: 1861-1865 Civil War
Price: SOLD
 

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