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SILK KERCHIEF WITH A LARGE PORTRAIT OF PRESIDENT WILLIAM McKINLEY, FLANKED BY CROSSED PAIRS OF AMERICAN FLAGS, WITH A BORDER OF FLAGS REPRESENTING THE PAN-AMERICAN NATIONS; MADE FOR THE 1901 BUFFALO WORLD'S FAIR, WHERE THE PRESIDENT'S LIFE ENDED IN ASSASSINATION

Web ID: ker-176
Available: In Stock
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 35.5" x 36"
Flag Size (H x L): 23.5" x 24"
 
Description:
Patriotic kerchief, printed on silk, featuring a portrait of President William McKinley in dark blue, designed as a circular medallion. Crossed pairs of American flags with 42 stars flank the central image, beyond which is a border with crossed pairs of international flags, connected by a red, white, and blue ribbon, and punctuated in each corner by federal shields with 13 stars and 13 pales (vertical stripes). In the center on each side is a smaller shield with 13 pales and 6 stars. Sometimes the star and stripe counts on textiles of this nature are meaningful and sometimes they are not. In this instance, the count of stars on the flags and the smaller shields is probably just decorative, though the corresponding stripes and pales are correct. Patriotic shields are often made with 13 stripes and 13 pales, to reflect the number of original colonies. Small text in the bottom center reads: "Patented December 26th. 1899."

The reason for the manufacture of this design would have been for sale as a souvenir at the Pan American Exposition, a large World's Fair held in Buffalo, New York in 1901. It was here that McKinley would ultimately be shot by an assassin. The international flags collectively represent significant nations within the Americas (hence, Pan-America). Included are Chile, Uruguay, Canada, Salvador, Hayti [sic], Brazil, Cuba, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Samoa, Columbia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Nicaragua, Hawah [sic], Honduras, Venezuela, Costa Rica, St. Domingo [Dominican Republic], and Ecuador.

Large in scale, colorful, and graphic, this is an especially scarce McKinley textile, made for an event that was to be both the most memorable and the most tragic incident of his life. Shot on September 6th by Leon Czolgosz, he became the 3rd U.S. president to be killed by assassination when he passed from complications of his wounds on September 14th, 8 days later. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt ascended to the Presidency and fulfilled the remainder of the term.

An example of this kerchief resides in the collection of Cornell University and is documented in Threads of History, Americana Recorded on Cloth, 1775 - the Present, by Herbert Ridgeway Collins (1979, Smithsonian Press), p.324.

Mounting: The kerchief has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton, black in color. The background fabric was washed to reduce excess pigment. An acid-free, pigment-setting agent was added to the wash to further set the pigment and the fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose. An excellent frame molding and U.V. protective plexiglas are included.

Condition: There are no significant condition issues.
   
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1899
Latest Date of Origin: 1901
State/Affiliation: New York
War Association:
Price: $3,200
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com


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