Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags
Sold Flags


Available: Sold
Frame Size (H x L): 16.5" x 6.5"
Flag Size (H x L): 11.75" x 2.25"
Stevensgraph (woven silk picture), in the form of a bookmark, made to memorialize Abraham Lincoln. Made sometime between his 1865 assassination and the 1876 centennial of American Independence, this particular example was produced by Thomas Stevens, a weaver in Coventry, England, who adapted a Jacquard loom to weave these highly intricate and colorful silk pictures. In 1862 he was producing four different designs, but by the late 1880's he had approximately 900 varieties. Many were bookmarks, but there were greeting cards, postcards, and other formats.

While the vast majority of Stevensgraphs with patriotic American themes in the marketplace today were produced in New Jersey, which became a mecca for embroidery work and the production of other decorative textiles in the United States during the late 19th century, this one was made by Stevens' own company.

The form is straight with a triangular wedge at the bottom. The design is one that he made with several different color combinations. Many do not actually employ the traditional, American, patriotic colors that one would expect.

The design centers around Lincoln's image, which is particularly well executed and set within an oval window, bordered by stars and surrounded by classical architectural elements that are particularly appealing. Above is a spread-wing eagle holding a forked-tail streamer in its beak with text that reads "E Pluribus Unum." Laurel leaves or olive branches appear at either side, and a federal shield below, which serves as a keystone for the oval medallion. There are grape vines along the very top of the ribbon, below which is the announcement of Lincoln's demise: "Assassinated at Washington 14 April 1865," and beneath this a fitting quote: "I have said nothing but what I am willing to live by, and if it be the pleasure of Almighty God, to die by. (A Lincoln)." Beneath the portrait, using both block and especially fanciful, embellished lettering, are the words: "The Late Lamented President Lincoln," set amidst winding grape vines. Below are crossed American flags.

An example of this Stevensgraph is documented in a "Collecting Lincoln" by Stuart Schneider (1997, Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA), p. Page 244. While Schneider dates it to 1865, my experience with Stevensgraphs of this general style leads me to believe it may have been produced then, but was probably also produced for the 1876 Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (our nation's first World's Fair; a six-month long event, held in celebration of our 100-year anniversary of independence).

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 have framed thousands of examples.

The solid walnut molding has ebonized decoration, retains its original gilded liner, and dates to the period between 1865 and 1890. The background 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 a minor tear beneath Lincoln’s name, in the top register. There is very minor soiling. There is moderate fading of the red or violet embroidery. There is modest fabric loss at the bottom point. The tassel is a period replacement.
Collector Level: Intermediate-Level Collectors and Special Gifts
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1865
Latest Date of Origin: 1876
State/Affiliation: Pennsylvania
War Association:
Price: SOLD

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