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44 STAR ANTIQUE AMERICAN FLAG WITH AN HOURGLASS ARRANGEMENT ON A TWO-TONE BLUE CANTON; REFLECTS THE ERA WHEN WYOMING WAS THE MOST RECENT STATE TO JOIN THE UNION, 1890-1896

44 STAR ANTIQUE AMERICAN FLAG WITH AN HOURGLASS ARRANGEMENT ON A TWO-TONE BLUE CANTON; REFLECTS THE ERA WHEN WYOMING WAS THE MOST RECENT STATE TO JOIN THE UNION, 1890-1896

Web ID: 44j-877
Available: In Stock
Frame Size (H x L): Approx. 54" x 80.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 42" x 68.5"
 
Description:
Wyoming was admitted as the 44th state on July 10th, 1890. Although the 44 star count would not become official until July 4th of the following year, flag makers would have begun to add a 44th star immediately, if not even beforehand, in hopeful anticipation. This became common among flag-makers during the latter 19th century, a practice that reflected both their support of westward expansion and a drive not to be out-stepped by their competitors. While the 44 star count remained so until July 3rd, 1896, it would have generally fallen out of use at the beginning of that year, when Utah gained statehood on January 4th.

The stars of this particular example are are configured in rows of 8-7-7-7-7-8, with the top and bottom rows offset so that they resemble a broad hourglass. This lineal formation is often encountered on flags of this star count and is graphically attractive. The stars are made of cotton and are all oriented with one point upward. These were expertly double-appliqu├ęd (applied to both sides) with a lineal machine stitch. The flag was produced in a cottage industry setting and bears some of the the expected irregularities thereof.

The striped field and canton are made of wool bunting that has been joined in the same manner. Note how the latter was pieced in two segments. This is because fabric of this type--used only for the manufacture of flags and banners--generally came in a width of 18 inches. Note how the wider strip falls within the general range of a Navy blue that one might expect in an American national flag of any era, but that the lower segment is a dusty blue-gray. This is because two different dye lots of fabric were employed. The color difference would not have been noticeable initially, but some of the blue bunting in use at the opening of the last decade of the 19th century was produced with a fugitive dye, fading whether or not it was exposed to light. The result is actually more interesting than one might expect, generally adding rather than detracting to its overall appearance, lending a trait that assists in the translation of its age.

There is a canvas sailcloth binding along the hoist, with two brass grommets, along which the numeral "6" was stenciled in black pigment, to denote the length of the flag in feet. While the scale may seem large to a casual observer, unfamiliar with 19th century examples, it is important to understand that most flags with pieced-and-sewn construction, made prior to 1890, measured 7-8 feet larger on the fly. At just a hair under 6 feet, this is a relatively small flag among its counterparts.

Mounting: The flag 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 have framed thousands of examples. The black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed molding is Italian. The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color, that has been washed and treated for colorfastness. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic (Plexiglas). Feel free to contact us for more details.

Condition: There is minor mothing in the striped field and canton, and minor soiling but the overall condition is great for a wool flag of the period. Many of my clients prefer early flags to show their age and history of use.
Video:
   
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type: Sewn flag
Star Count: 44
Earliest Date of Origin: 1890
Latest Date of Origin: 1896
State/Affiliation: Wyoming
War Association: 1866-1890 Indian Wars
Price: Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com


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