|PRINTED COTTON KERCHIEF GLORIFYING THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, WITH TEXT AND REPRODUCED SIGNATURES, MADE FOR THE 1876 CENTENNIAL INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION
|Frame Size (H x L):
|30" x 30.75
|Flag Size (H x L):
|21" x 24.5"
|Printed on cotton, this beautiful kerchief pays homage to the Declaration of Independence, through the reproduction of its text and 56 signatures, surrounded by a fanciful border. The latter contains the 13 state seals, which are dispersed around the perimeter in small medallion images. Note how Pennsylvania is highlighted among them, larger and in the bottom center, both because it served as the meeting place of the Second Continental Congress, and played host to the 1876 Centennial International Exposition, the six-month long World’s Fair event that was held in honor of our nation’s 100-year anniversary of independence.
The names of twelve Revolutionary War generals are spread out between each crest, on each forward-facing turn of a scroll, that wraps around the pillar and leaf border on the right, left, and bottom. These include Washington, Lafayette, Johann de Kalb, Nathiel Greene, Ethan Allen, Henry Knox, Israel Putnam, Daniel Morgan, William Moultrie, Francis Marion, Mad Anthony Wayne, and Thomas Sumter (note the misspelling of the surname of the latter).
The top is crowned by an image of the Liberty Bell with outstretched sprigs of olive and oak branches. The scarlet red border creates nice contrast with the sepia text and illustrations and the white background.
An example of the bandanna, in the collection of Cornell University, is pictured in “Threads of History” by Herbert Ridgeway Collins (Smithsonian Press, 1979), as item 419, on p. 200. Collins formerly served as curator of political history at the Smithsonian and his text is considered the definitive reference on American political textiles. I have many times seen this kerchief sewn into quilts produced in the patriotism fueled by the centennial, but oddly enough, loose examples such as this are scarcely encountered. The same textile exists with a blue border instead of red.
Mounting: The kerchief 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 banners and have framed thousands of examples.
The kerchief has been hand-stitched to a background of 100% cotton twill, black in color, that has been washed and treated for color fastness. The mount has been placed in a scooped profile molding, very dark brown in color, nearly black, with reddish highlights and undertones, to which a black-painted, hand-gilded, and distressed Italian molding was added as a cap. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic (Plexiglas).
Condition: There are 4, small, spots of modest staining, plus more minor flecks of staining elsewhere. There is minor to modest fading of the red pigment in the center of the textile, vertically, and there is a streak of significant misprinting near the left edge, running vertically through the state devices.
|Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
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