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  RARE SUFFRAGETTE ARMBAND IN GOLDEN YELLOW FELT, THE ONLY EXAMPLE I HAVE ENCOUNTERED THAT WAS PURPOSEFULLY SEAMED, LIKELY BY THE MAKER; GOLDEN YELLOW & BLACK FELT, MADE CIRCA 1912-20

Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 9.5" x 13.5" x 4.75" d
Flag Size (H x L): 3.5" tall x approx. 19.5" diameter
Description....:
Wide, felt armband, in the traditional golden yellow of the American Suffrage movement, with applied, black felt lettering that reads: “Votes for Women.” Though akin to the most often encountered forms of yellow, felt pennants and other textiles of the same fabric and colors, this example is particularly special. In spite of it being a form that a casual observer might expect to be readily recognizable in the world of Suffrage textiles, it is the only example like it that I have ever seen, and the only armband that I have ever encountered that was purposefully sewn in such a capacity, for an arm to be slipped into it. Most were simply pinned at the time of need, while dressing for the rally, parade, or other event, to fit the man or woman who wore it. Likely these were affixed to the sleeve of a jacket, blouse, or dress. The armband that is the subject of this narrative, was, instead, seamed by machine at the back.

Most textiles of this sort were probably shipped to an organization or emporium on a continuous bolt, so that one repeated after the next. These would then be clipped and sold or otherwise distributed on the spot. The length of cloth purchased could become a sash, armband, or hatband, as needed or desired. Often made of grosgrain silk ribbon, or cotton sateen, or felt, many of these were not long enough for a complete sash, to be draped over the shoulder and around the body, unless the buyer purchased more than one. Evidence among surviving examples, as well as in period photography, shows that these were, instead, often clipped at somewhere between 24 to 36 inches, then simply pinned across the breast at an angle to look like a sash. This was both more economical and made it feasible to outfit huge crowds.

All-in-all, great relic of the suffrage period.

Mounting: The textile 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 related textiles and have framed thousands of examples.

The sash was fitted around a custom-made form. The background fabric is 100% cotton twill, black in color, that has been washed and treated for colorfastness. This is a custom-made shadowbox frame, with expert carpentry in its finished corners. The wood solid mahogany, with a matte, black-painted finish. The glazing is Optium museum plexiglass, non-glare and scratch resistant, yet crystal clear.

Condition: There is extremely minor mothing and extremely minor staining.
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1912
Latest Date of Origin: 1920
State/Affiliation:
War Association:
Price: SOLD
 

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