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  1876 CENTENNIAL STEVENSGRAPH BOOKMARK WITH AN IMAGE OF GEORGE WASHINGTON, MADE BY PHOENIX MANUFACTURING CO. AND SOLD BY B.B. TILT & SON

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 17.5" x 6.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 13.25" x 2.25"
Description....:
Stevensgraph (woven silk picture), in the form of a bookmark, made as a souvenir for the 1876 Centennial International Exposition, held to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of American independence. This patriotic textile was produced by the Phoenix Manufacturing Company of Patterson, New Jersey and sold by B.B. Tilt & Son of Broom Street, New York City.

The form is straight with a triangular wedge at the bottom, tipped with a gold silk tassel. The finely executed imagery features an eagle at the top carrying the Stars & Stripes, below which is a bust-like portrait of George Washington, set within an oval window, framed with by a swag ribbon and fringed with ribbons below, at the tips of which are gold stars. Above Washington are his famous words "These United Colonies Are and Ought to Be Free and Independent States." Below are the names of the 13 colonies with Pennsylvania appearing prominently at their center (the location of the Expo). Below all of this is a colorful zigzagging ribbon with the dates 1776 and 1876, emblazoned with the following text: "In Commemoration of the Centennial of American Independence." Below is a narrow streamer with the "E Pluribus Unum" slogan and a patriotic shield with laurel and oak leaves.

The textile is made with the mark of Tilt, which appears on the reverse in on the portion of the fabric rolled over along the top edge. It also bears the trade mark of the Phoenix company on the bottom, on the reverse, in the fabric folded up to make the wedge.

The technology to weave these highly detailed silk textiles was developed by Thomas Stevens, a weaver in Coventry, England, who adapted a Jacquard loom to weave colorful pictures from silk. By 1862 he was producing four different designs and by the late 1880's he had approximately 900. Many were bookmarks, but there were greeting cards, postcards, and other formats.

Mounting: The gilded molding, with a rippled edge, dates to the period between 1820 and 1850. The ribbon has been hand-stitched to 100% cotton twill, black in color, that was washed to reduce 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 glazing is U.V. protective.

Condition: Excellent.
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1876
Latest Date of Origin: 1876
State/Affiliation: Pennsylvania
War Association:
Price: SOLD
 

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