Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 18" x 12"
Flag Size (H x L): 11" x 5.25"
Exceptional portrait of Abraham Lincoln. on woven, silk ribbon, made in the fashion of a Stevensgraph, signed & dated by Jordan Tchapp of Besel, Switzerland, 1866. Made for the American market, to mourn the death of America’s beloved, 16th president, Lincoln’s image is set within an oval window, crowned with a federal eagle, holding an olive branch in a gesture of peace. Beneath its wings, to each side, is an array of arrows, with shafts in the likeness of lightning bolts. The bird is perched on a billowing streamer that decorates the crest of a fanciful frame, with text that reads “With Charity to all, with malice for none.” [A slight and likely unintentional paraphrase of words taken from Lincoln’s second inaugural address: “With malice toward none, with charity for all.”]

To the left and right of America’s martyred commander-in-chief are 22 stars. If Tchapp designed the work in April of 1865, he may have been referencing the official number of stars on the flag, 35, less the 13 Confederate States. Likely, however, this count is also unintentional. The frame rests in the apex of crossed American flags with star counts of 13 and 15, respectively. These could be copied from an engraving of some sort, as could the remainder of the image. Lady Columbia is seated at the center, atop a federal shield, drying her tears with the flag to the left, and with her torch tipped at a downward angle, no longer raised. Another streamer, decorating the shield, reads “Union For Ever,” with the dates “1776” and “1865,” the latter noting the war’s end, as well as the year of Lincoln’s assassination. To the left and right are oak leaves and laurel, to glorify the nation, Union victory, and our fallen leader.

English, French, and German competitors began producing woven jacquard textiles, with images of heads of state, and exporting them to America, all at approximately the same time. Examples from Jordan Tchapp may date as early as 1861-62. Thomas Stevens of Coventry, England, sold his first designs of the “Stevensgraph” in 1862. French maker, Françcois Carquillat, may have begun in the 1860’s as well.

Beyond having very good graphics and excellent detail, one of the reasons that this ribbon is so extraordinary is its huge scale among known examples. Larger than any other that I am aware of, it is also among the rarest of examples, and certainly among the earliest. This may, in fact, be the earliest, dated variety.

Examples of this ribbon are among the holdings of the Detroit Institute of Arts and The Indiana State Museum (Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection).

Mounting: The Hicks style, corner block, veneered, mahogany frame, with geometric and leaf rosettes and rope style decoration, dates to the late 19th century and has exceptional, early surface. To this I added a flat profile, gilded molding of the same general period as a liner. The textile was hand-stitched to its background, which is 100% cotton twill, black in color, that has been washed and treated for colorfastness. Spacers keep the textile away from the glazing, which is U.V. protective glass.

Condition: There is extremely minor foxing and staining, but the overall condition is extraordinary.
Collector Level: Advanced Collectors and the Person with Everything
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1866
Latest Date of Origin: 1866
War Association: 1861-1865 Civil War
Price: SOLD

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